by I-Ting Tu
Almost 2/3 of the IWAH course is gone! Time flies. I have learned so much from the course, especially the practical bits of it really helped me to get the picture of how different research/survey is operated in real life.
Today, a special session was given by two very experienced wildlife forensic experts from the WII. We learned some incredibly interesting wildlife crime cases during the lectures as well as the identification of the illegal wildlife products. Things like – how to distinguish between pashmina and illegal shahtoosh products? How musk ball harvesting is severely affecting the conservation of the musk deer population in the wild? How to distinguish the region of the rhino from the base of the rhino horns?
The best part of today is the mock investigation of the wildlife crime scene. We were divided in to 3 groups, my group was sent to investigate a potential electrocution case of an adult tiger. The most important thing I have learned is to be vigilant during the investigation as the poachers might still be around the crime scene with firearms. Everything should be recorded in detail before we started to collect evidence. It is also crucial not to leave our own fingerprints on the surface of the evidence.
I haven’t had experience working in wildlife forensic before so it was all very fresh to me. With this training, hopefully I will be of help when needed in the field.