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From CRAVED to CAPTURED: Introducing a Product-Based Framework to Examine Illegal Wildlife Markets

Abstract

Previous research examining the illegal wildlife market has primarily centered on actor- or stage-based approaches. Recent research has highlighted the value of examining the unique characteristics that make wildlife products suitable targets. Specifically, these studies have examined the concealable, removable, available, valuable, enjoyable, disposable (CRAVED) nature of wildlife hot products, particularly during the initial taking or poaching stage. However, these characteristics are not necessarily static and can change throughout the course of a product’s progression through the illicit market. Depending on the stage, the specific elements of CRAVED may also fluctuate in relevance and importance. In this paper, we examine the utility of the CRAVED model in examining wildlife products of their progression through illegal markets. We argue that although the model is useful in examining specific aspects of the illegal wildlife market, it may be limited in its ability to account for the unique characteristics and nuances of wildlife products. Due to this we introduce a new framework we refer to as concealable, available, processable, transferrable, useable, removable, enjoyable, desirable (CAPTURED) that adapts and extends the original CRAVED model. We discuss the potential utility of the CAPTURED model in examining illegal wildlife market, as well as implications of the new framework for theory and policy.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For the purposes of this paper, wildlife refers to wild animal species, non-wood forest products (NWFPs), timber, and fish (Broad et al. 2003; Reeve 2002). In general, wildlife crime refers to many different activities such as poaching, bushmeat hunting, retaliatory killings due to human-animal conflict, and the illegal trading and smuggling of wildlife products (Broad et al. 2003; Reeve 2002; Wyler and Sheikh 2008). For our purposes, we define wildlife crime as any action, whether for commercial or personal purposes, that directly breaches national and/or international laws, agreements and regulations enacted for the protection of wildlife.

  2. 2.

    Within the scope of both the legal and illegal wildlife market, wildlife can be considered to have a commercial consumptive use (CCU) (Freese 1998). Commercial refers to “any use of a wild species that is driven or greatly influenced by a revenue-generating motive for one or more stakeholders” while consumptive “occurs when an entire organism is deliberately killed or removed or any of its parts are utilized, either as a goal in itself or for a product” (Freese 1998: 10–11).

  3. 3.

    Assistant Warden of Law Enforcement, Personal communication, October 14th, 2012.

  4. 4.

    Retrieved on February 12th, 2011 from: http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/join_campaigns/fight_illegal_wildlife_trade/tigers/the_thin_green_line.php

  5. 5.

    Although see Moreto and Clarke 2013 for a critical discussion on the use of crime scripts for the transnational illegal market in endangered species products.

  6. 6.

    Another CRAVED study applied the model to livestock theft in Malawi finding availability and disposability were both significantly related with which type of livestock was stolen most often (Sidebottom 2013). This is an interesting example of using CRAVED to explain the exploitation of domestic animals, which are turned into products similar to those made using wildlife.

  7. 7.

    Knowing that most stolen items are not taken for personal use, Sutton (2010) implies items that are more valuable, enjoyable, and disposable will bring a greater profit; items that are concealable, removable and available are easier to steal but not necessarily valuable.

  8. 8.

    Assistant Warden of Law Enforcement, Personal communication, October 14th, 2012.

  9. 9.

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. See Reeve 2002 for an overview

  10. 10.

    Retrieved on July 26th, 2014 from: http://news.ifeng.com/society/1/detail_2013_12/11/32042140_0.shtml

  11. 11.

    A jambiya is a traditional dagger-like knife worn by Yemeni men (Martin et al. 1997).

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Moreto, W.D., Lemieux, A.M. From CRAVED to CAPTURED: Introducing a Product-Based Framework to Examine Illegal Wildlife Markets. Eur J Crim Policy Res 21, 303–320 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-014-9268-0

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Keywords

  • Crime science
  • Illegal markets
  • Illegal wildlife market
  • Transnational crime
  • Wildlife crime