July 2021 - 44

Lab Director Kim Frazier (left) and Forensic Program Manager Tasha Bauman work in the recently finished, state-of-the-art Wildlife Forensic and Fish Health Laboratory in Laramie. (WGFD photo)
Wildlife Forensic and
Fish Health Laboratory
Located in Laramie, the lab is divided into three
disciplines: wildlife forensics, fish health and tooth
aging. The responsibility is to enhance and protect
Wyoming's fish and wildlife resources by providing
Game and Fish, wildlife organizations and the
public with timely and accurate information and
essential laboratory and technological support. These
services include fish health inspections and disease
diagnostics for state aquaculture facilities and natural
waters in Wyoming, forensic analyses for wildlife law
enforcement personnel, tooth aging of big game and
trophy game animals and other analytical services for
management and enforcement personnel. The lab is
accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board
in non-forensic and forensic testing.
The wildlife forensic portion focuses on forensics
and assists law enforcement officers with suspected
poaching cases. The lab is capable of taking a biological
sample and identifying the species it came from,
the animal's sex, matching it to another sample and
determining a minimum number of animals the
sample came from if the genetic material is mixed.
Evidence usually consists of meat/tissue samples,
skulls, drillings, heads, arrows, knives, saws, blood,
hair, hide, gut piles, saliva, clothes and numerous
other sample types. The forensic section analyzes
approximately 70-80 cases a year and does forensic
work for 13 states including Wyoming.
The fish health section focuses on fish health
inspections and diagnostic cases. Fish health inspections
44 | July 2021
are normally conducted on an annual basis, and per
Wyoming state regulations, at Wyoming's 10 state
aquaculture facilities, various wild brood populations
and private aquaculture facilities in Wyoming. Fish
are tested for certain bacterial, viral and parasitic
pathogens. If the pathogens of interest are not detected
during testing, the facility receives a disease-free status
and certification for one year. This certification allows
fish and fish eggs to be stocked into Wyoming's waters
or exported out of state. The fish health section also
conducts disease diagnostic testing on fish populations
that die at state aquaculture facilities and natural waters
and will provide a recommendation for treatment. The
pathogen and disease testing the fish health section
conducts is critical to maintaining healthy captive and
wild fish populations throughout Wyoming.
The tooth aging section ages big game and trophy
game teeth for biologists and hunters. Teeth are sent
to the lab in individual envelopes or boxes. This
allows hunters to know the age of a harvested animal
while providing biologists with data about wildlife in
Wyoming. Recently, the laboratory has started aging
teeth collected in conjunction with chronic wasting
disease samples to determine if there is a correlation
between CWD status and age. This effort has drastically
increased the number of teeth processed in the lab.
These six branches of the services division are
diverse with each having a specialty working toward
the Game and Fish mission. Although some sections
are more visible to the public, services is a behindthe-scenes
group making the work of the department
possible. This division is definitely full service, and
most certainly at your service.

July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2021

July 2021 - 1
July 2021 - 2
July 2021 - 3
July 2021 - 4
July 2021 - 5
July 2021 - 6
July 2021 - 7
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https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/January2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/December2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/September2020
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com