An Examination of Wildlife Crime on the Treasure Coast: Do Crime Detection Rates Differ on Conservation Lands?

Kelsey Doyle, Tobin Hindle

Abstract


In 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Division
(FWC) recorded 11,869 criminal violations. A majority of which are “wildlife crimes”, or crimes
committed against the environment. The ratio of FWC officers to anglers and hunters is greatly
disproportionate, and it is estimated that most wildlife crimes go undetected. The current study
will examine the locations of poaching and conservation-related tickets issued on the Treasure
Coast of Florida in an effort to better understand the predictors of wildlife crime detection.
Overall, approximately half of the tickets issued as a result of a wildlife violation occurred on
conservation lands, as defined by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory. In addition, in all three
counties, the percentage of crimes detected on conservation lands was larger than the percentage
of the county area designated as conserved, indicating a higher probability of detection in the
conserved areas.


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