Green-collar crime and the illegal songbird trade in Europe

This research project analyses the deeper socio-economic drivers of supply and demand in the illegal songbird trade in Europe, and aims to understand their implications for the production and distribution of environmental harms.

Dr. Teresa Lappe-Osthege will be leading research on the role of corporate or green-collar crime in the illegal songbird trade in Europe to understand deeper socio-ecological drivers of supply and demand for illegal wildlife products. 

Teresa’s research will revolve around the following research questions: 

  • How are legal and illegal entities intertwined in the illegal bird trade in Europe? What does this reveal about broader socio-ecological inequalities in how environmental harms are produced and distributed?
  • What role, if any, do cultural diversity and traditions play in driving illicit consumption of wildlife products? What does this tell us about the role of European cultures and identities in environmental policy-making processes?
  • What issues arise from the design of the EU’s regulatory framework and dominant narratives in policy-making that make it difficult to tackle IWT in European songbirds effectively? 
  • To what extent does uncertain scientific knowledge and/or conservation status enable the illegal trade in European songbirds?

This research project will generate original data by drawing on evidence from a wide range of national, regional and international stakeholders in business, policy and conservation, with a particular focus on EU Member States Cyprus and Italy. Teresa’s work will contribute to theoretical debates in political ecology and green criminology, and produce empirical insights that will help sharpen existing policies aimed at curbing the illegal wildlife trade in Europe.