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Reduction of Illegal Global Wildlife Trade through Novel Conservation Forensics Research

Date & Time:

December 3, 2019 (Tue) | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


CPD 2.45, 2/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU


Dr Caroline Dingle 
Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences

Dr Caroline Dingle and her team received the Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award 2019 of the Faculty of Science for the project ‘Reduction of Illegal Global Wildlife Trade through Novel Conservation Forensics Research’.


Wildlife trade poses a growing threat to the survival of many species. Although some wildlife products are traded legally, many are not. Illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most lucrative organised activity, worth billions of US dollars annually. As global demand increases for illegally harvested and traded wildlife products, endangered species are pushed closer towards extinction. Situated in the heart of Asia, Hong Kong acts as an important trading hub in the wildlife trafficking network.

The Conservation Forensics Laboratory at HKU consists of a group of faculty members and students from multiple Faculties across the University, drawn together by the aim of conserving endangered species and enhancing Hong Kong’s capacity for effective enforcement of illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade in Asia as well as globally. Conservation research undertaken at HKU supports efforts by governments and NGOs to increase enforcement of national and international laws protecting endangered species and supporting illegal wildlife trade reduction. Conservation actions stemming from our research resulted in increased protection of turtles, pangolins and fish under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and via the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We are also developing new forensics techniques to further help fight wildlife crime and support successful prosecutions. Together, we aim to provide a platform for interdisciplinary research and public engagement through dialogue and knowledge exchange.

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