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Inside the Clark R. Bavin U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory lies a rarely seen world, a "CSI" for wildlife, where a dedicated group of forensic scientists is responsible for victims from thirty thousand animal species.
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.
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.
Laurel A. Neme is an international consultant specializing in natural resource management. She writes for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and has written for The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, and World Wildlife Fund.
"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."
– Publishers Weekly
"A fantastic, exciting and revealing read! Neme takes us deep into the dark world of wildlife exploitation with a thrill level and suspense rivaling any episode of CSI."
– Jeff Corwin, wildlife biologist, producer, & host
"Tells 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."
– Jane Goodall
"Think CSI: Wilderness. Neme's book gives us a new set of heroes, in the labs of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and reminds us of one of the uglier set of villains on the planet, the traffickers in wildlife."
– William McKibben, author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature