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Animal Investigators: How the World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab Is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Speciesby Laurel Neme
Synopses & Reviews
Inside the Clark R. Bavin U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory lies a rarely seen world, a andlt;iandgt;CSIandlt;/iandgt; for wildlife, where a walk-in freezer contains carcasses and animal parts awaiting necropsies (animal autopsies); shelves and drawers hold pills, rugs, carvings, and countless other products made from parts of endangered animals; and a dedicated group of forensic scientists is responsible for victims from thirty thousand animal species. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Accomplished environmental journalist Laurel A. Neme goes behind the scenes at the wildlife forensics lab — the only crime lab of its kind — to reveal how its forensic scientists and the agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to investigate wildlife crimes, protect endangered species, and stem illegal wildlife trafficking, the third largest illegal trade in the world. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; In three fascinating cases — headless walrus washed up on the shores of Alaska, black bears killed for the healing powers of their gallbladders, and gorgeous feathered headdresses secretly shipped to the United States from the Amazon — Neme traces the USFWS's daring undercover investigations and how the scientists' innovative forensic techniques provide conclusive evidence of a crime. Throughout, she underscores the staggering international scope of the supply and demand for wildlife and animal parts. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Filled with the suspense and thrilling detail of a crime novel yet driven by the all-too-real drama of a small band of scientists and investigators battling a lucrative, high-stakes underground industry, andlt;iandgt;Animal Investigatorsandlt;/iandgt; is an engrossing account of crime and cutting-edge science.
"Few people realize that animal parts trafficking represents a large threat to the global ecosystem; writer and natural resource management expert Neme is one of them. Trading in rare goods highly prized by many cultures, but lacking in human victims, the worldwide animal parts market remains largely invisible, and thus completely underestimated, except in the underfunded U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that's tasked with stopping it. In this engrossing look at the CSI of the animal world, Neme opens readers' eyes through three case studies: walrus tusk hunting in Alaska, an investigation that leads into serious debate over issues of native sovereignty and subsistence hunting; bears poached for their gall bladders, a cure-all in Chinese medicine; and rare Amazonian birds killed for their feathers. Explaining the science behind the work, Neme reveals concrete clues and fascinating sidelights that should keep fans of police procedurals hooked, while also focusing on cultural issues and the challenges of global regulation. Readers interested in true crime, animal rights or television's Law and Order will be fascinated, educated, and perhaps inspired to spread the word." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An amazing story about concerned scientists and forensic teams working to solve the murder mysteries that all too often are overlooked: the poaching and smuggling of endangered species--Dr. Jane Goodall. b&w photos throughout.
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History and Social Science » Crime » Forensics and Evidence