I was surprised to hear about this at first, but considering the tech-age we live in, I suppose the need to employ cyber detectives
shouldn’t really be that shocking. A cursory investigation estimated there are almost a thousand websites advertising the sale and delivery of protected or endangered species. Although this article focuses on India’s trafficking and wildlife cyber crime control, this is a major issue for many countries. India has begun to hire cyber crime specialists to hunt down wildlife trafficking offenders. However, the smugglers are just as tech-savvy as the detectives and utilize proxy servers and fake IP addresses, making it challenging for the detectives to determine who is behind the illegal advertising. Smuggling cases are increasing in frequency, with 2009-10 logging 205 cases and bumping up to 312 cases for 2011-12.
I’m not particularly tech-savvy, so this job isn’t for me. However, this could be a great avenue for people who want to work in conservation and have a way with computers. Understanding technology is becoming an increasingly marketable skill. I’m trying to evolve with technology (Hence why I tried to start blogging. Look how well I’m doing?! haha). I just think it’s crazy that somewhere on the web people can find and order endangered species that biologists are trying so hard to protect and conserve. This world wide wildlife warfare is only going to increase until more cyber detectives are employed to monitor it and stay at least one step ahead of the smugglers. I’m sure everyday web surfers can also help the cause by reporting suspicious websites to conservation organizations.