Wildlife Crime Academy

Wildlife Crime Academy

Relevant Balkan stakeholders attend official anti-poisoning training courses to build capacities in tackling illegal wildlife poisoning

Wildlife Crime Academy logo

Competent authorities from the Balkans will participate in a series of ambitious and intense official anti-poison training courses within the Wildlife Crime Academy based in Spain, building capacities to effectively investigate, manage and tackle illegal wildlife poisoning incidents across seven Balkan countries.

Goals of the Wildlife Crime Academy

The Wildlife Crime Academy plans to conduct anti-poisoning training programmes to raise operational capacities of staff from the relevant governmental institutions and other stakeholders in the Balkan region. It further aims to bolster institutional cooperation and working cohesion, especially between the National Anti-Poisoning Working Group members, rendering their response to future poisoning incidents more effective. Expert staff from Spain, primarily from the Junta de Andalucía, will teach attendees all about investigation, forensic pathology and toxicology, which are the most important components when it comes to managing illegal wildlife poisoning incidents.

The Anti-Poisoning Training Courses Consist of Three Levels

1. Basic

It will cover everything relating to the practice of illegal wildlife poisoning to allow participants to gain general knowledge about the efforts each relevant governmental authority needs to invest. Participants will also acquire knowledge about the body posture of dead animals they encounter, enabling them to distinguish between signs indicative of poisoning but also of electrocution, collision and shooting, a necessary ability needed in the pre-investigation procedures as it can significantly facilitate the future course of action. 

2. Advanced

The second series of courses will focus on each component of an investigation, including forensic pathology and toxicology in detail. The Wildlife Crime Academy will further organize specific advanced courses for law enforcement officials, including police, environmental inspection, forestry service and ranger service for investigation procedures of wildlife poisoning cases and staff from referent national veterinary institutes and toxicological laboratories for conduction of necropsies and toxicological analysis.

3. Supreme

The final and most intense level within the Wildlife Crime Academy’s anti-poison training courses will turn participants into experts in dealing with illegal poisoning and other wildlife crime. The Supreme course will concentrate on forensic investigation, showing participants from the relevant national enforcement agencies how to properly carry out the strategic planning of an investigation course of a poisoning incident from start to finish.

Within the BalkanDetox LIFE project’s scope, a total of 40-45 relevant staff from the Balkan countries will attend the Wildlife Crime Academy. During these courses, participants will become acquainted with cutting-edge equipment, methods, and techniques while also receiving the necessary resources and supplies to effectively detect, manage, and investigate wildlife poisoning incidents. Upon successfully completing the training courses, attendees will attain official certificates from the Spanish authorities and conduct the national anti-poisoning programmes as official trainers to transfer their newly gained knowledge to other colleagues from their respective countries.

As part of BalkanDetox LIFE, the Vulture Conservation Foundation will coordinate the Wildlife Crime Academy, which relies on the support of the Regional Government of Andalusia (Junta de Andalucía) and the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico).

BalkanDetox LIFE project

Threat of illegal wildlife poisoning

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