Wildlife trafficking via social media in Brazil

Wyatt, Tanya, Miralles, Ophelia, Massé, Francis, Lima, Raulff, da Costa, Thiago Vargas and Giovanini, Dener (2022) Wildlife trafficking via social media in Brazil. Biological Conservation, 265. p. 109420. ISSN 0006-3207

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109420


The trafficking of non-human animals is having a profound effect on biodiversity and conservation efforts. This is also the case in Brazil where it is estimated that millions of wild animals are sold each year, particularly for the pet market. The increasing use of social media and private messaging services (i.e., Facebook and WhatsApp) facilitate this illegal activity to a degree that has not yet been explored. This paper shares the findings of a pilot study analysing the patterns and trends from 500 messages containing at least 1682 individual animals in Brazil via social media and private messaging services. We found the vast majority of the wildlife advertised are Brazilian reptiles and birds. All the trade observed was illegal since it was not happening through certified breeders. This means that it is likely tens of millions of wildlife are being illegally traded each year in Brazil, which has conservation and public health implications in Brazil, but also globally. Efforts to reduce the demand for wildlife in and from Brazil and to support law enforcement agencies and technology companies in combating wildlife trafficking are needed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Illegal wildlife trade; Social media; Brazil; Pet market
Subjects: C900 Others in Biological Sciences
L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
M900 Other in Law
P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2022 13:25
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2022 08:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48097

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