DNA helps track ivory poachers

A team of researchers say they have a novel approach to tracking down elephant poachers, the New York Times reports. Samuel Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington, says that by linking DNA taken from confiscated tusks to a genetic map of African elephants he’s created, law enforcement can target areas susceptible to poaching and catch more criminals. “We need something really urgent that gets in there and really stops the trade in its tracks,” Wasser told reporters.

Read the New York Times story here, or read the study on the approach in Science Advances.

Header Image: : Researchers say DNA from elephant tusks can help lead law enforcement to poachers. ©Vince Smith