An intrepid investigation of the criminal world of wildlife trafficking - the customers, the poachers, and the traders - and of the scientists fighting extinctionAs Reefer Madness (Eric Schlosser) took us into the drug market, or Weathermakers (Tim Flannery) profiled the scientists heralding climate change, or Susan Orlean descended into the swampy obsessions of The Orchid Thief, Rachel Nuwer plunges the reader into the global underground of wildlife traffic, which she has been investigating for nearly a decade. A prominent science journalist with a background in ecology, she accompanies poachers on their furtive hunts, reveals the amazing forensic lab work that can now identify their sources, and sets up encounters deep in the underbelly of the trade. The rampant abuses of Chinese medicine and the links to drug trafficking and international crime cartels are gradually uncovered.On the brighter side, she celebrates the passion and bravery of scientists and activists fighting for whole species, as well as an awakening public (witness the recent response to the killing of Cedric the Lion or Tian Tian the panda's viral frolic in the NYC blizzard).
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by Marianne Taylor
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