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USFWS Wildlife Without Borders Brown Bag Series Presents - The WILD LEO Project: Improving law enforcement operations in Uganda's protected areas with technology and training

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jul 03, 2014 01:45 AM
Please join Dr. Andrew Lemieux, Director of The WILD LEO Project in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks in Uganda.
When Jul 03, 2014
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Room 200 A/B 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203
Contact Name
Contact Phone +254 711 063243
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In Uganda's protected areas, ranger foot patrols are the first line of defense against crimes such as poaching, illegal plant harvesting and encroachment. These patrols are responsible for detecting and deterring criminal activity across large plots of land reserved for wildlife and are often limited by access to manpower and vehicles. To allocate rangers efficiently, it is helpful to know where crime problems exist, where they are likely to exist, and make deployment decisions using this information. In 2013, the WILD LEO Project began data collection in two of Uganda's protected areas to provide law enforcement commanders and park managers with this sort of intelligence. Over the last year, ranger teams have been using digital cameras with integrated GPS units to create a spatially referenced, photographic database of illegal activity in these protected areas. The photos and GPS tracks of ranger movements collected by the cameras, are used by crime analysts in the parks to create monthly reports used for deployment decision making. This presentation gives an overview of the WILD LEO Project's implementation, uptake and sustainability. It also describes illegal activity problems rangers deal with and discusses these problems in the context of criminal opportunity theory. It concludes with a vision of how wildlife law enforcement operations could be improved in Uganda and elsewhere, using low-cost technology and interdisciplinary collaboration.


Originally trained as a biochemist who studied diabetes, lung injury and space biology at the University of Arizona (BS 2005, MS 2006), Andrew switched disciplines after graduation to pursue his research interests in criminology. He completed his graduate studies at the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (MA 2008, PhD 2011) where he studied a variety of topics including wildlife crime, visitor crime and time-based risk assessments of violence.

Poaching prevention is Andrew's main area of expertise and comprises the majority of his research agenda. He currently directs the WILD LEO Project in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks in Uganda. This is an on-going collaboration with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Conservation Foundation that uses technology and training to increase ranger efficiency with advanced intelligence gathering and analysis techniques. The goals of the project are to (a) give commanders better information for deployment decision making, (b) increase poacher apprehension and (c) increase poacher conviction rates.

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