Vermont Public Radio: Laurel Neme talks about Legal and Ethical Questions of Big Game Trophy Hunting of Cecil the Lion


Legal And Ethical Questions Abound In Big Game Trophy Hunting

Jul 30, 2015

The killing of Cecil the lion by an American big game hunter in Zimbabwe has enraged many people on social media. It also raises questions about the legal protections and social norms around hunting and poaching wild animals.

On Thursday, we talk with Vermonter Laurel Neme, author of the book Animal Investigators: How The World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species.  Neme has researched and written extensively on international wildlife trafficking and efforts to prevent and solve crimes against protected animals.

Also in the program, a field trip to one of Vermont's state historic sites, Mount Independence. The fort that stood there during the Revolutionary War shared a history with Fort Ticonderoga, just across the lake. Site interpreter Paul Andrischin tells us more.

Broadcast live on Thur., July 30, 2015 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Wisconsin Public Radio: Kathleen Dunn Show



Laurel Neme on Wisconsin Public Radio's The Kathleen Dunn Show

  • A long-tailed macaque kept in a small cage while on sale at a local market in Medan. Northern Sumatra, 2003.

Trading To Extinction

February 13, 2014 - 1:00pm
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Tomorrow the UK government hosts the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, hoping to secure political commitment from governments around the globe to fight the issue. Kathleen Dunn and guests investigate this multi-billion-dollar illegal industry and what’s being done to stop it.

© Copyright 2014 by and Wisconsin Public Radio. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The global trade in illegal wildlife has seen an unprecedented spike in the past two decades, and the figures are frightening: According to some estimates, 100 elephants are slaughtered each day for their tusks, more than 100 million sharks are killed for their fins each year and rhino poaching increased by 5,000 percent between 2007 and 2012.

Another sobering statistic tells us that today, there are more Bengalese tigers in Texas than in the Bay of Bengal.

Since the 1990s, the illegal trade in animals and animal parts has doubled to a $10 billion-a-year industry. The World Wildlife Fund calls it...

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Will AM 580 Illnois Public Media

Will AM Illinois Public Station

Friday, May 29, 2009
1:06 pm

Animal Investigators: How the World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab Is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species

Laurel A. Neme, Ph.D., International Consultant Specializing in Natural Resource Management

Science, Health and Healing

“Science, Health and Healing” on WBAI-FM (Pacifica) – June 2

Write the Book

Write the Book (radio interview), May 4 -

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New Hampshire Public Radio, Word of Mouth

New Hampshire Public Radio, Word of MouthNew Hampshire Public Radio, Word of Mouth (radio interview)

CSI Animal Investigators

By Virginia Prescott on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


Diamonds, guns, slaves and drugs may be the billion dollar black markets that we hear about, but animal trafficking is the third most lucrative criminal activity in the world. Illegal animal brokers and merchants are notoriously difficult to track down, but one Oregon crime lab has devoted itself entirely to the cause.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory is the first and only forensics lab in the world dedicated just to animals. It’s dealt with more than 10,000 cases from all over the world in the past twenty years. Journalist Laurel Neme followed some of the poachers, processes and prosecutions in her new book Animal Investigators.

Catching California’s poachers can be tough since so few game wardens patrol such a vast stretches of wilderness. So officials are trying something new. In a scene straight out of a television CSI crime show, game wardens and scientists are using DNA analysis and other high-tech measures to protect California’s wildlife. KQED’s David Gorn reports. Click here to listen at the Public Radio Exchange.

(Photo by Steve Stevens via Flickr/Creative Commons)

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NPR's Science Friday

Science Friday Web screen shot

Wildlife CSI (broadcast Friday, May 1st, 2009; 3:20-4:00 PM EST)

Host Ira Flatow

CSI: Animal Kingdom Can DNA evidence prove that a walrus was poached? Who is responsible for taking down illegal caviar traffickers? A scientist from an animal forensics lab in the U.S. and a National Fish and Wildlife special agent talk about busting crimes against non-human species.

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Kojo Nnamdi Show

“Kojo Nnamdi Show,” WAMU-FM
Aired: Tues. May 19, 2009, 1:00PM
4000 Brandywine NW
Washington, DC  20004
(30 minutes, live) Audio options available on their website

KOJO Nmamdi Show

Defenders of Wildlife Web screen shot

Culture Shocks

Culture Shocks Web Screen ShotCulture Shocks (40 min radio interview), aired April 24 (episode #1394)

Illegal wildlife trafficking is worth an estimated $20 billion a year behind drug and human trafficking; Animal Investigators documents this black market business.

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Meet the Planet

Meet The PlanetMeet the Planet (10 min radio interview), aired April 24

Audio File:

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Vermont Edition VPR - Wildlife CSI

Vermont Public Radio -

Wildlife CSI

Investigating illegal wildlife trafficking

VPR Web Screen ShotWildlife smuggling is a $20 billion-a-year business and the third-largest illegal trade worldwide. Dr. Laurel Neme is an international resource management consultant who lives in Huntington, Vermont. She's just written a book about the world's first and only CSI lab for wildlife, the Clark R. Bavin U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon.

We'll talk with Neme about the emerging science of animal forensics -- in which investigators must distinguish from among 30,000 species, often with only a few hairs, a bit of blood or powdered remains as clues.

Jane Lindholm, Laurel Neme, Susan Keese

We'll also hear from Col. David LeCours, Director of Law Enforcement for Vermont Fish and Wildlife, about how the demand for rare animals impacts our region. And we'll learn what we can do to discourage the illegal trade in protected animals.

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