CONSERVATION DETECTION DOGS

A wildlife conservation detection dog is highly effective when working together with other processes used to locate endangered or invasive species. Working with existing field team members the detection dog is an extremely effective and valuable tool that can ensure the success of current projects.

To gain successful outcomes the tools the team works with must be highly efficient. That requires the handler to have a very high level of control of the dog which is paramount in any situation but it becomes extremely important when the handler team is in the field conducting detection work for wildlife species. It is imperative that an endangered wildlife species is not affected in any way by the presence of a detection team.

• A dog can cover a larger area and much quicker than humans. One trial showed a dog was able to locate scats 357% more effectively than humans.
• Our conservation dogs remain more focused for longer periods of time than humans and is not distracted by day to day life.
• Dogs do not have any preconceived concepts of where a species may be located and operate solely by what their nose indicates.
• A dog can work in many environments with the same level of success, such as in cold or hot temperatures, snow, and extreme terrain.
• A human resource is only as good as their electronic equipment and eyesight yet a dog operates with excellent hearing, eyes and a nose that is able to detect the scent at least 1,000 times better than humans.

Working as a conservation detection dog handler requires many elements including:
• Knowledge of the target species
• High fitness levels for the handler and the dog
• Alertness for checking the fitness and health of the dog
• Full control of the canine at all times
• Ability to work the dog effectively with appropriate signals without confusing the dog
• Have an appropriate method of alerting to a located target scent.

Training of the detection dog never ceases.
The dog and the handler must undergo regular training to ensure high standards are maintained.

1

RESOURCES

A dog can cover a much larger area than a human can

2

TIME

A dog can remain focussed for long periods of time

3

MONEY

A dog is more cost effective to locate a species