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Vietnam begins to use WildScan app for wildlife protection

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 17:06 GMT+7

A training course dedicated to WildScan, a mobile app for wildlife protection, kicked off in Hanoi on Monday, under the joint organization of Vietnamese wildlife authorities and Freeland, an Asia-based organization devoted to wildlife protection, local media reported.   

>> Another elephant dies of exhaustion while serving tourists in Vietnam WildScan is a comprehensive species identification and response mobile application designed to combat wildlife trafficking, according to Freeland. The course, intended for law enforcement agencies related to wildlife conservation, was jointly held by the Biodiversity Conservation Division (BCD) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Freeland. The app provides an effective means for wildlife activists, law enforcement officials and others to identify animals from endangered species illegally captured or sold and easily report such cases to competent agencies. As shown on Freeland’s website, WildScan is designed to help law enforcement officials respond to wildlife trafficking, an illicit trade estimated at US$19 billion per year. The app contains photos and critical information on over 280 endangered species and illegal wildlife products commonly trafficked into and throughout Southeast Asia to assist in proper identification and rapid response, according to Freeland. With a unique identification tool and high resolution photos, WildScan helps increase the ability to effectively and efficiently identify animals and animal products without having to use large reference books, Freeland said.

The app is a new approach that help not only law enforcement agencies but also the public in their efforts to report illegal wildlife trafficking, Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, deputy head of the BCD, was quoted by Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper as saying.

The training course is part of the Asia Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking program, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.

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