Wildlife Forensic Specialist: Jobs in Forensic Investigation
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Wildlife Forensic Specialist: Jobs in Forensic Investigation

Wildlife forensic specialists work with law enforcement officers and other agents of the department of Fish and Wildlife in the United States. Fish and wildlife agents often size evidence when they are performing their job. This evidence must be analyzed by a qualified forensics expert who specializes in wildlife. This job calls for a solid background in veterinary medicine.

Wildlife forensic specialists help to identify eggs and other animal products that are sold outside of the boundaries set by the law. They help to clearly identify evidence in cases where persons are suspected of poaching or smuggling animals or their parts. They are not only required to identify the animal products involved, they must also figure out where they came from.

While doing their job, they must adhere to proper police protocol. People who work in this field must have good communication skills because they will be required to partner with wide variety of persons in order to get their job done. 

Wildlife Forensic Specialist: Day to Day Activities

Wildlife forensic specialists spend a lot of their time in the lab. If you prefer to spend a lot of your hours outdoors, this job will not be ideal for you. However, they are sometimes required to go out in the filed to do testing. They must check the crime scenes themselves sometimes to make sure that the evidence that they need was obtained using the correct procedures.

They also need to visit the scene of the crime because they will pick up clues that may not be obvious to persons who are not trained in their field. These clues help them to figure out which animals were affected and also help them with figuring out which people were involved. They take pictures with top quality equipment such as an Olympus SLR digital camera in order to help with their investigation.

These professionals may test items such as sea turtle boots, oceanic white tip shark fins, reptile skin handbags and blood stained garments. Some of these reveal lots of information without too much testing but others are a challenge. For example when animal bones have been ground to a powder, it is harder but still possible to get information from them.

Wildlife Forensic Specialist: Selecting a Veterinary Forensics Course

Programs in veterinary forensics are available at several universities. The students who want to enter these programs are often required to have completed a degree in veterinary medicine prior to applying for the course. Veterinarians who want to earn a graduate certificate in veterinary forensics are interested in applying forensics to animal cruelty cases and animal related crimes.

Some specialists in this area focus on a particular area. For example, if they like snakes and crocodiles they may concentrate on reptiles. Others may be experts in birds or fish. It is not always necessary to have been trained in veterinary medicine in order to work in this field but it does give you an advantage. Several of these professionals have degrees in related areas like criminology.

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