Wildlife Forensic Investigation
Principles and Practice
CRC Press – 2013 – 770 pages
Wildlife forensics is the application of forensic science to the conservation and protection of non-domesticated animals, both in the wild and in captivity. Providing an in-depth introduction to this rapidly evolving field, Wildlife Forensic Investigation: Principles and Practice also chronicles aspects of the history of management, conservation, and environmental protection, with an emphasis on their global importance in the twenty-first century.
The book examines the crucial role of wildlife forensic investigation with regard to live animals, dead animals and samples and covers national, regional, and international legislation. While the text particularly focuses on forensic science as it relates to wild animals, it also includes mention of plants and habitats because of their relevance to conservation. The book discusses animal welfare as well as the damage that can be inflicted on humans and property by wildlife.
Offering access to sound evidence based on good science and obtained using the best available practices, the book is enhanced by case studies from experts who describe some of their own work. This resource is essential for those involved in a range of endeavours, including investigating wildlife crime, identifying animal remains, ascertaining the circumstances of death of wild species, and other legal proceedings and activities concerning wildlife.
The forensic skills described in this book can be applied to a wide range of activities (not necessarily involving the legal process), including environmental impact assessments, insurance claims, governmental and other enquiries, checking of trading standards and the inspection of (for instance) pet-shops, animal boarding establishments, and zoological collections.
The authors point out that one of the most important requirements of those persons involved in wildlife forensic work is to retain an open mind. Such personnel should also be conscious of new developments and evolving techniques and be able to anticipate situations where their investigative and scientific skills might be used to advantage—so-called "horizon scanning". Examples of these are given.
"The Coopers’ background in veterinary medicine, animal care, international law, and developing countries combined with their knowledge of biology and natural history result in a powerful approach to compiling evidence to fight wildlife crime and related misdeeds. Their interdisciplinary and unique perspective on wildlife forensic investigation is what makes this book essential reading for those who are dedicated to righting the wrongs done to our natural world. "
—From the Foreword by Lee Durrell, MBE, BA, PhD, Honorary Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
" … provides a comprehensive and authoritative text on this multidisciplinary and increasingly important subject. The text references UK and EU law throughout, but draws on wildlife crime experiences throughout the world from the huge international experience of its authors. The book is nicely illustrated, including some colour plates … . As well as extensive clinical and pathological information, the book benefits from its use of case examples, provision of example case forms and other useful supporting material. Veterinarians, biologists, ecologists and those involved in wildlife law, will find this book interesting and essential reading."
— Dr Elizabeth Mullineaux BVM&S, DVM&S, CertSHP, MRCVS, Wildlife Veterinary Surgeon and Scientific Advisor to Secret World Wildlife Rescue
"The content and scope are greatly enhanced by case studies from experts in diverse parts of the world. … The text has a practical ‘hands-on’ approach and is written by people who have experience working in the field, not just in the laboratory."
—Focusing on Wildlife
" … the practices and procedures described could easily be extrapolated to domestic animal case-work. … a valuable reference for those desirous of providing competent aid."
"The color photographs really add to the attractiveness of the volume, both in its appearance and understanding better the topics under discussion, and may be one of the most useful aspects of the volume … a comprehensive presentation of the whole field of forensic wildlife investigation techniques (it) will serve well as an introductory text for the field."
—Journal of Wildlife Diseases
" … offers the reader a unique perspective on the expanding collection of wildlife forensic books on the market today. … would be an excellent addition to any practitioner’s library for them to better understand wildlife forensic science. … also would serve as an excellent lower level undergraduate course textbook (albeit regionally focused on terrestrial vertebrates in Africa), especially considering the void of such reference and educational materials."
—The Journal of Wildlife Management
"The book is fascinating, enlivened by the Coopers' experiences obtained through their travels. They have worked extensively overseas, living in Africa for over a decade (including Rwanda during the genocide), as well as being based in the Caribbean, the Arabian desert and Europe. This brings a depth of understanding, perspective and realism to the book."
—David Alderton in Cage & Aviary Birds
"Their unique flair is unmistakable, with ingenious tips aplenty … . Covering the scope of wildlife forensic investigation from legislation to courtroom, it serves as a useful reference for students and experienced practitioners alike."
—Tim Hopkins in Veterinary Record
What Is Wildlife Forensics? John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Types of Wildlife Investigation; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Legislation; Margaret E. Cooper
Application of Forensic Science to Wildlife Investigations; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
The Wildlife Crime Scene: An Introduction for First Responders; Edgard O. Espinoza, Michael D. Scanlan, Andrew D. Reinholz, and Barry W. Baker
Forensic Entomology; Kate M. Barnes
Field Techniques: At Home and Abroad; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Working with Live Animals; John E. Cooper
Working with Dead Animals; John E. Cooper
Dealing with Samples; John E. Cooper
Genetic Methodologies in Wildlife Crime Investigations; Louise Anne Robinson
Some Aspects of Laboratory Work; John E. Cooper, SallyAnn Harbison, and Jill Webb
Special Considerations and Scenarios; John E. Cooper, Margaret E. Cooper,
Norma G. Chapman, Alexandria Young, Regina Campbell-Malone, Andrea Bogomolni,
Rebecca N. Johnson, Stuart Williamson, Jaime Samour, Madhulal Valliyatte, János Gál ,
Míra Mándoki , Miklós Marosán , Maurice Alley, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka , and Chloe V. Long
Collection and Submission of Evidence; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Writing Reports and Appearing in Court; Margaret E. Cooper and Charles Foster
Conclusions and the Way Forward; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix A: Glossary; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix B: Facilities and Equipment Lists; John E. Cooper
Appendix C: Standard Witness Statement (United Kingdom); John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix D: Specimen Forms – Wildlife Forensic Cases; John E. Cooper
Appendix E: Sources of Information; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix F: Health and Safety: Zoonoses and Other Hazards; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix G: Preparation and Investigation of Material; Martyn Cook E, Andrew C. Kitchener, John E. Cooper, and Jill Webb
Appendix H: Scientific Names of Species and Taxa of Animals Mentioned in Text, with Notes on Taxonomy; John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix I: Legal Aspects of Sample Movement in Wildlife Forensic Cases; Margaret E. Cooper
Appendix J: Information and Intelligence Gathering in Wildlife Crime Investigation; Nevin Hunter
Appendix K: Javan Rhino Examination Report
References and Further Reading
John and Margaret Cooper are a husband and wife team from the United Kingdom. John E. Cooper trained as a veterinary surgeon and is now a specialist pathologist with particular interests in wildlife and exotic species, tropical diseases and comparative medicine. He has served widely as a consultant expert witness and teaches pathology and wildlife health at different levels. Margaret E. Cooper is a lawyer who trained originally as a British solicitor and has made the study of animal and conservation law her special interest. The Coopers have travelled widely and lectured together in many countries. They have spent nearly ten years living in Africa, including a period in Rwanda working with mountain gorillas. They continue to combine their medical and legal backgrounds in the promotion of an interdisciplinary approach to veterinary and biological education, wildlife conservation, and forensic science.