The Earth Journalism Network recently launched a new project to aid journalists in monitoring and investigating the illegal wildlife trade in Europe.
Through investigations led by cross-border teams of reporters and the production of in-depth stories, the project aims to expose wildlife smuggling networks and how they work. It will also highlight the impact this type of criminal activity has on society.
In line with this effort, South Africa-based Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism has created an open-source tool that will map seizures, arrests, prosecutions and convictions related to wildlife crime.
The tool is currently in its development stage, and the project team needs assistance in creating the dataset from scratch.
Although law enforcement throughout Europe already tracks these incidents, there is no one place where this information is made publicly accessible. Oxpeckers hopes to change this, while also providing journalists with data on which to base their investigations.
They're casting a wide net in search of assistance, guidance, tips and contact information that could be helpful to their data collection efforts.
"Ultimately, we will create a space where others can contribute information about the growing number of illegal wildlife trade-related incidents in Europe, a region that serves as both a transit hub and consumer market," says Roxanne Joseph, Oxpeckers' associate data journalist and the project's data manager.
If you can assist, please email Joseph at [email protected].