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Published on: Philanthropy

Forensic science and native animal conservation

The Ottomin Foundation continues to strengthen its connection with Taronga Zoo through supporting the forensic science and native animal conservation in particular the recent initiative WildINFORCE.

The pilot program is testing the hypothesis on whether a quill clipping from an Echidna can identify whether it has been raised in the wild or in captivity. The program involves analysing keratinous tissues, including quills, hair, scales and fur to identify the origin of the echidna. The aim is to establish a forensic methodology for detecting and monitoring illegal wildlife trade.

The current lack of reliable, cost-effective, real-time forensic diagnosis methods to identify laundered wildlife contributes to decreasing animal populations. Success of this project will provide a possible solution to this problem, leading to a significant reduction in the decline of species from poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

The Ottomin Foundation is proud to be involved in another Taronga project, which ultimately aims to increase the numbers of threatened species in the wild.