The Wildlife Forensic Academy provides physical courses at the academy in South Africa and online e-learning courses. These are ideal for starting in the field of wildlife forensics. The courses are as well intended as a preparation for practical courses at the academy at Buffelsfontein Nature Reserve or for individuals or groups that want to spend less money or time on training.

Our e-learning courses will give you a good understanding of the field of wildlife crime and the role of forensic science. After finalising the course you will receive a certificate. The modules are meant for the follow target groups:

Students: Wildlife forensics, conservation, ecology, veterinary, animal management, biology, IT and data science

Professionals: Wildlife rangers, park managers, police officers, customs managers, law enforcement, insurance officers and veterinarians.

The current modules are:

Module 1 – Wildlife Forensics Introduction course  Price:  $50  Duration: 4 hours  –  Available

The courses gives the student an oversight of wildlife forensics. The course touches on wildlife poaching, trafficking and trade, organised wildlife crime, forensic and the roll of forensic in wildlife, wildlife crime scenes, wounded animals, marine wildlife crime, as well as an introduction the Wildlife Forensic Academy. The course is finalized with a test and when passed, with a certificate.

The price of the introduction course will be deducted from a course at the Academy.

Please email  admin@wildlifeforensicacademy.com  to register for an online course.

Module 2 – Wildlife Crime and Illegal Wildlife Trade  Price: $200  Duration: to be confirmed  – Under development: ready August 2021

This course will go into the poaching and methods of poaching, wildlife trafficking and trade. We will give insight in the economic and cultural aspects. Beside these topics we will as well expend on organised wildlife crime and the devastating impact on animals humans and our society.

Module 3 – Wildlife Forensics Sources and Traces   Price: $200  Duration: to be confirmed  Under development: ready August 2021

This course will go into the role of forensic science, the importance of wildlife forensics, forensic traces sources, collection and preservation.

Wildlife Forensics Introduction
Overview wildlife crime, poaching and trade
This is an overview of the historical and current situation in in wildlife crime and trafficking, predominantly in Africa.
Wildlife Crime and Illegal Wildlife Trade
Illegal wildlife trade

Legislation of wildlife trade and protection

Marine wildlife crime
Insight into the illegal wildlife trade.

What are the local and global legislation that is relevant to wildlife crime and illegal trade.

What are the common marine wildlife crimes and where are they present.
Wildlife Forensics sources and traces
Basic forensic awareness training

Basic forensic principles

Forensic trace detection

Forensic sources

Forensic trace awareness

Range of forensic traces

Firearms and tool marks
This unit will be an introduction to understanding the value of forensic science, the institutions involved and background to forensics in wildlife law enforcement

This unit gives an overview of the principles of forensics and how they influence crime scene management.

Delegates are taught how to identify forensic traces so that they are not missed in the collection of forensic traces.

An overview of the variety of forensic sources and traces.

What traces to be aware and how to identify them.

The scope of forensic traces is widening and this unit gives detail into the range and value of the different traces.

What are the weapons used on wildlife and how can they be recognized.
Wildlife Forensic Intelligence

Wildlife Crime Scene Management

Wildlife Crime Scene Justice Chain and tracking

Wildlife Laboratory Forensics

Wildlife Crime Prosecution

Chemical Wildlife Crime

Injured Animal Management

One Health and Human Wildlife Conflict

Wildlife Crime Mitigation

Digital forensics
Forensic Intelligence
Forensic photography

Crime scene management
Crime scene scenarios
Protection and preservation of a crime scene

Criminal justice chain
Detection and collection of traces and hand over to the police

Drug analysis
Forensic veterinary pathology
Laboratory forensics
Molecular biology and DNA
Physical matches and identification

Court house training
Prosecution success and failure

Toxicology in wildlife crime

Applied basic wildlife anatomy
Injured animal management
Wildlife handling

“One Health” wildlife and human risks and prevention Human / wildlife conflict Zoonoses and illegal wildlife trade

Successful mitigation of wildlife crime Successful mitigation of illegal wildlife trade
What are the digital traces and how to collect and access them.
What intelligence is being used to fight wildlife crime.
The background, value, process and current techniques are taught in this unit.

The full process of crime scene management is taught in this unit.
A variety of crime scenes with appropriate management are taught and discussed.
This unit is to provide skills to ensure a crime scene is not damaged and the potential forensic traces are preserved.
What measures must be practices to decrease risks to personnel processing wildlife crime.

The criminal justice chain is followed in detail in different wildlife law enforcement scenarios. The process of collection of forensic traces is taught in detail.
How to track humans and animals.

What drugs are used in poaching and illegal wildlife trade, how to be prepared for them and identify them.
Delegates are taught more advance wildlife forensic macro-pathology and and exposed to suitable micro-pathology.
How to conduct forensic science in the laboratory.
Understanding use of molecular biology in forensics.
How to match identifications from a crime scene.

How to correctly present evidence in a court setting and manage legal discussions. Why prosecutions have been successful and unsuccessful.

What toxin are involved in wildlife crime, how to recognize them and prove their presence.

This is an overview of anatomy in the different categories of wildlife species: herbivore, carnivores and other.
This unit covers the veterinary and primary animal care principles of managing injured animals.
An overview of how to handle wild animals.

Working in a wildlife context exposes personnel to zoonotic diseases and occupational risks. This unit teaches understanding, identification, risk mitigation and treatment for these risks
Negative interactions between wildlife and humans and their property: what, how, why and how to prevent.
How and which diseases are distributed with illegal wildlife trade.

What are the global measures that have deceased wildlife crime. What are the global measures that have deceased illegal wildlife trade.


The courses are available to be included in a University curriculum. Universities are encouraged to contact us for group discounts and integration into your curriculum.


The courses will have accreditation by selected education partners


Student internships for 1-12 months are available in a variety of related fields and sites. See internship CLICK

Data science students

The WFA is in partnership with Sensing Clues and provides training and internships in data science related to wildlife crime.


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