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S. K. Niraj, P. R. Krausman, V. Dayal


The analysis of wildlife seizures has been constrained by limited data. We studied temporal and spatial patterns in wildlife seizures of 18 legally protected or regulated wildlife species or categories: 15 animal and 3 plant or tree species in India. Seizures are reported poaching of species in the wild. Some species experienced regular seizures on a quarterly basis. For these species (e.g., tiger [Panthera tigris], leopard [P. pardus], Asian elephant [Elephas maximus], Indian rhinoceros [Rhinoceros unicornis], deer, and antelopes we conducted tests for the presence of stochastic trends and structural breaks in poaching activities. The overall patterns, timing of the structural breaks and their intensity varied among species preventing any generalizations. However, in the years close to 2006, tiger, elephant, rhino, deer, and antelopes experienced declining poaching trends. Seizures in red sander (Pterocarpus santalinus), shells, and leopards increased significantly from 2000-2006. Even spatial patterns vary among species. Local indicators of spatial association (LISA) and Moran’s I statistics indicated significant spatial clustering of tiger and leopards seizures near northern borders close to China. In contrast red sanders seizures were clustered in the states having major sea ports. Enhanced resources and field level enforcement are required to match the magnitude of threats to wildlife due to illegal trade and poaching.


illegal trade, India, leopard, poaching, rhinoceros, spatial, temporal, tiger, wildlife seizures

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