Using crime script analysis to elucidate the details of Amur tiger poaching in the Russian Far East

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Poaching is the most direct threat to the persistence of Amur tigers. However, little empirical evidence exists about the modus operandi of the offenders associated with this wildlife crime. Crime science can aid conservation efforts by identifying the patterns and opportunity structures that facilitate poaching. By employing semi-structured interviews and participants observation with those directly involved in the poaching and trafficking of Amur tigers in the Russian Far East (RFE), this article utilizes crime script analysis to break down this criminal event into a process of sequential acts. By using this framework, it is possible account for the decisions made and actions taken by offenders before, during and after a tiger poaching event, with the goal of identifying weak points in the chain of actions to develop targeted intervention strategies. Findings indicate poaching is facilitated by the ability to acquire a firearm, presence of roads that enable access to remote forest regions, availability of specific types of tools/equipment, including heat vision googles or a spotlight and a 4 × 4 car, and a culture that fosters corruption. This crime script analysis elucidates possible intervention points, which are discussed alongside each step in the poaching process.




Skidmore, A. (2021). Using crime script analysis to elucidate the details of Amur tiger poaching in the Russian Far East. Crime Science, 10(1).

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