Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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What is WDFW's role in protecting exotic species?

WDFW Police is the primary enforcer of this new law, which represents a significant new responsibility for the agency. The department has detectives that specialize in investigating illegal trade in local natural resources, and officers have a presence at border crossings and marine and air ports.

Implementing the Washington Animal Trafficking Act (WATA), however, represents additional challenges for the department. Success in protecting endangered and threatened species depends upon bolstering cross-border partnerships, as well as increasing the resources necessary to focus on the problem.

WDFW is seeking ways to increase police officer presence at ports of entry. The department also has applied for grants to purchase two dogs, which can detect contraband. Additionally, WDFW is working to develop partnerships with forensic labs and conservation organizations, as well as with representatives from numerous international and national governments to build support for a coordinated approach to curbing this problem.

The department also is working with the state Legislature to increase resources for the effort.



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Last Updated
9th of December, 2016

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