Snakes and fingerprints: methods to develop ridge detail on snake skin

Newall, Charlotte Abigail (2016) Snakes and fingerprints: methods to develop ridge detail on snake skin. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Despite numerous laws and regulations. against the harming, buying or selling of certain classes of wildlife, the illegal trade still increases each year with threats of extinction for many species (World Animal Protection, 2015). Reptiles are among the most affected by the illegal wildlife trade, wanted for their unusual skin to make handbags and shoes. The demand in the exotic pet trade also causes a large amount of the demand for their illegal import and export (Butler, 2014; Daily Mail Reporter, 2014; Herbig, 2013).
    This study introduces wildlife crime and its effects on conservation and examines the benefits of forensic science as a means of combating human crime. This demonstrates the need for its utilisation in wildlife crime investigations. The forensic method of finger mark analysis was looked at to aid in reptile (specifically snake) trade investigations and, therefore, in helping general wildlife crime investigations.
    Primary research was conducted to discover which fingerprinting technique, of those evaluated in the literature review, would provide the best quality of ridge detail when developing finger marks from snake skin. The results of this study concluded that the best method was gelatine lifting on ventral scales. This technique produced more grade 4 detail of the developed prints than the other techniques tested.
    Whilst fort her research is recommended to folly assess gelatine lifting applicability to other areas of reptile trade and general wildlife crime investigations:, there are other forensic methods too, that also need to be adapted to help investigate wildlife crime.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Centre for Studies in Literature
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 09:45
    Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 09:45

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