New tool in fight against bushmeat poaching in Tanzania18/12/2012 09:56:07 Illegal hunting in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania: social and molecular genetic methods of combating crimes against fauna
December 2012. Tanzania's many and diverse wildlife populations are under threat from illegal hunting, and large herbivores are particularly sought-after game. In the future, however, genetic markers can be used to identify meat from game in order to combat crimes against animals.
Difficulty of prosecution
Stella Bitanyi, of Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, has developed molecular genetic methods of identifying species of wild herbivores in Serengeti in Tanzania. Most of the herbivores that are attractive as game or bushmeat for poachers in this area were included in Bitanyi's study and this genetic tool can now be used for monitoring and estimating wildlife populations and for acquiring technical evidence in crime cases against wildlife both in Tanzania and in other parts of the world.
Meat from protected species on sale, including elephant
Local community awareness
Information about species identification of bushmeat on sale in the local communities was unreliable, whether the meat was legally or illegally acquired. However, the reliability depended on the position the person concerned had in the trade chain.
The field studies were conducted in Tanzania, while the laboratory work and data analysis were carried out at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in Oslo.
Stella Bitanyi promoted her PhD research on with a thesis entitled "Illegal hunting in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania: social and molecular genetics approaches towards forensic investigations".
Courtesy of the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science