Endemic Madagascan animals are prized for their idiosyncrasies and rarity, and the island’s tortoises, geckos and chameleons are a particular focus of reptile enthusiasts. The international illegal trade in Madagascan reptiles is routinely conducted online, increasingly via social-media platforms. These sites offer traders a convenient way of connecting with a wide international customer base, where there is little internal monitoring and enforcement and access to information can be easily controlled. As a result, the internet facilitates a trade that already poses an acute threat to highly endangered species. At the same time, internet-based or internet-facilitated trade makes enforcing existing legislation designed to protect these animals much harder, due to the use of multiple platforms, the linguistic and technical barriers to monitoring these platforms, and the diffuse networks of sellers and buyers driving the trade which are not suitable to ‘kingpin’-driven enforcement tactics.

Share this article

Author

Siv Rebekka Runhovde

Dr Siv Rebekka Runhovde is a researcher in the Department of Research at the Norwegian Police University College in Oslo. Siv holds a PhD in Criminology from the University of Oslo and has more than ten years of experience in researching complex and under-addressed crime areas.

Since 2011, her work has focused on researching the policing of transnational organised wildlife crime, focusing on Uganda and Norway, and since 2018, the theft and trafficking of art and antiquities, focusing on Norway. Both projects have included conducting interviews with law enforcement professionals and other experts in the field and she has employed a theoretical framework that includes perspectives on discourse, organizations, professional discretion and opportunity-based theories on crime.

Besides conducting research, Siv supervises students conducting a Master’s degree in Police Science and Criminal Investigation.

Read more

Similar articles

Illicit wildlife markets and the dark web
Publications 21 November 2018