Global illegal wildlife trade threatens biodiversity and acts as a potential crisis of invasive species and disease spread. Despite a wide range of national and international policies and regulations designed to stop illegal wildlife trade, high profit margins and increasing demand drive a vigorous global illicit trade network. We aim to use artificial intelligence to understand more about the nature of illegal smuggling and wildlife trade.
Motivation: the next layer of protection after PAWS
PAWS is dedicated to protect wildlife in the first place. However, sometimes poachers can still dodge the patrol performed by the park rangers and successfully conduct poaching. The next step of poaching is to take all the animal parts and ship them to the market in order to get profit. The main motivation of this project is to leverage this neccessary step of poaching activity. We try to strategically allocate checkpoints around the national parks in order to catch the poachers we missed. A properly designed checkpoint allocation can deter poachers and smugglers by increasing their risk of shipping items out of national parks.