Wildlife Trafficking and Selfie Tourism Quantified Through Twitter Data

Abstract

The Slow Loris is a primate native to Asia and the Pacific Islands known for its venomous bite and coveted for its cuteness. Selfie Tourism promotes the use of wildlife as props for tourists to take photographs with. This lacks consideration for biodiversity, human health, and nonhuman animal health. This project investigates the sale and exhibition of the endangered Slow Loris on Twitter. By robustly quantifying the temporal and spatial distribution of selfies with endangered species we can gain insights into the driving forces behind demand for sectors of wildlife trade and better inform policy to deter tourists and traffickers.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Jeremiah Onaolapo

Faculty/Staff Collaborators

Prianka Bhattacharjee

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Second Student College

Graduate College

Program/Major

Complex Systems

Second Program/Major

Data Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Tertiary Research Category

Engineering & Physical Sciences

Abstract only.

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Wildlife Trafficking and Selfie Tourism Quantified Through Twitter Data

The Slow Loris is a primate native to Asia and the Pacific Islands known for its venomous bite and coveted for its cuteness. Selfie Tourism promotes the use of wildlife as props for tourists to take photographs with. This lacks consideration for biodiversity, human health, and nonhuman animal health. This project investigates the sale and exhibition of the endangered Slow Loris on Twitter. By robustly quantifying the temporal and spatial distribution of selfies with endangered species we can gain insights into the driving forces behind demand for sectors of wildlife trade and better inform policy to deter tourists and traffickers.