The Black Market in Endangered Animals

Greg Warchol, Northern Michigan University
Linda Zupan, Northern Michigan University

ABSTRACT
Criminologists have long been interested in the study of transnational crime -- the illicit procurement, transportation and distribution of commodities across international borders. By and large, the majority of the research has focused on the illegal narcotics trade with limited, though growing interest in nuclear and conventional arms dealing, money laundering, art and antiquities trafficking, and the smuggling of humans. However, one area of transnational crime -- the black market in endangered animals and animal parts that generates an estimated $6 billion per year -- has been all but ignored by criminologists. Employing field research methods, the authors explored the nature of this illegal market in Namibia and South Africa, two major source countries for illegal wildlife trafficking. The authors present their results via multi-media format using images and audio clips to supplement and compliment their major findings.

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Updated 05/20/2006