The University of Southampton

Researchers develop software tool to combat illegal trade of plants and animals

Published: 20 January 2020
New detection software to fight illegal trafficking of wildlife

New detection software created at the University of Southampton is using artificial intelligence to fight the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

The FloraGuard project, led by criminologist Dr Anita Lavorgna and computer science lecturer Dr Stuart Middleton, extracts data from hundreds and forums and marketplaces to alert authorities to suspicious behaviour.

The commerce of exotic wild plants has increased in Western countries over the past 60 years, triggering a rise in illegal trades that threaten and destroy numerous species and important natural resources.

The Southampton research, which is partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the UK Border Force, converts information into charts, diagrams and pictures which can be used in investigations or to trigger new ones.

Read the full article in the University's Research Highlights section.

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