SANBI SPECIES AND CYCAD IDENTIFICATION TOOL FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

 

Tess Rayner
TRAFFIC – East/Southern Africa Regional Office, c/o IUCN

 

Abstract: 

South Africa’s law enforcement officers, Environmental Management Inspectors (EMI’s), border police, customs, field and compliance officials are faced with the enormous challenge of correctly identifying protected fauna and flora, and more often their parts and derivatives, observed at border posts or for sale in local or regional markets as well as during the issuance of TOPS and CITES permits. Since there is a wide variety of both legal and illegal wildlife-based products in trade (including everything from live mammals, birds, reptiles, rhino horn, cycads as well as fresh and processed fish) this task is made all the more difficult. Add to this the lack of necessary species identification skills and it is virtually impossible for inspectors and officials to be able to identify such specimens to the taxonomic level required to make critical law enforcement decisions. There is often a dependence on under-resourced nature conservation staff, who also sometimes do not possess the necessary identifications skills themselves. The SANBI Species Identification Tool, developed by TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa (TRAFFIC-ESA), provides a solution to this challenge through offering law enforcement officials an efficient, easy-to-use electronic tool. Phase 1 of the project has been completed and includes comprehensive electronic identification materials for approximately 140 TOPS- and CITES-listed species traded in South Africa, including both flora and fauna, their look-alike species, and their parts and derivatives. TRAFFIC-ESA has also recently developed a Cycad Identification Tool, using the same software, that will be linked directly to the SANBI ID Tool website. Both ID Tools will shortly be available online as well as on tablets and will be rolled out to all provinces over the coming months.

 

Presentation Topic:

SANBI SPECIES AND CYCAD IDENTIFICATION TOOL FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

Contact Ms Rayner:
Email Tess Rayner