A Detailed Primer in Fighting Wildlife Crime

Bob Ladendorf


Wildlife Crime: From Theory to Practice. Edited by William Moreto. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. 2018. ISBN: 978-1-4399-1472-4. 306 pp. Hardcover, $104.50; softcover, $37.95; Kindle, $37.95.

The body parts of some wildlife, such as rhino horn, are more valuable than gold or heroin. The worldwide illegal trade is, in fact, one of the top four types of transnational crime (the other three include narcotics, human trafficking, and military weapons). This illegal trade attracts criminal networks that often smuggle wildlife parts along with legitimate goods. The demand for wildlife and their body parts, many of which are from endangered species, is so great because of population growth, global wealth, and superstitious beliefs. The markets will continue to expand despite efforts by governments, NGOs, environmental organizations, and individuals to stop the demand and the culture of consumption and corruption.

These are just a few of the highlights gleaned from the new book Wildlife Crime: From Theory to Practice, edited by William Moreto, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Central Florida. Moreto has gathered a number of academics to lay a foundation, explore methodologies, and describe real-world efforts to thwart wildlife crime. While this is an academic book, its comprehensive coverage of the range of crimes and how those are fought nationally and internationally makes the book a good primer.

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