Wildlife forensics is the application of science to legal cases involving wildlife. This field uses scientific procedures to investigate wildlife-related crimes involving the exotic pet trade, poaching, other illegal hunting activities, and even oil spills.
A wildlife forensics specialist is a scientist who uses chemical techniques to investigate wildlife crimes. These scientists analyze animals, animal parts and products, and other evidence collected by wildlife inspectors and other officials.
Wildlife forensic specialists may collect evidence from wildlife inspectors and fish and game wardens, and work with them to investigate and prosecute crimes. They identify the species to which an animal, part, or product belongs, and may be required to determine a cause of death. They examine physical evidence from items, suspects, and crime scenes to identify links. They may be called upon to testify as expert witnesses in court.