Wildlife crime prints 'breakthrough' 科学家找到从猛禽羽毛上提取偷猎者指纹方法

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Image caption Birds of prey like this Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle are at risk around the world

科学家们称,他们在打击对付野生动物犯罪问题上取得了的法庭证据方面的重大突破。此突破可以从动物的羽毛上提取犯罪分子的指纹。以下是 BBC记者 Rebecca Morelle 的报道:

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The white-tailed eagle is the UK's largest bird of prey. But like many raptors, it's a victim of wildlife crime.

The latest RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds] figures reveal that in 2013 there were more than 120 confirmed incidents of shooting, trapping, and poisoning of birds of prey in the UK.

But scientists say that if the dead birds have been handled, possibly while being discarded, crucial fingerprint evidence can now be gathered. A team from Abertay University, in Dundee, has shown for the first time that the incriminating marks can be lifted from the birds' flight feathers, using fluorescent powders. They have also recovered fingerprints from eggs, which could help police to track down and prosecute illegal collectors.