Conservation Canines Program Overview

Conservation issues are complex, with multifaceted problems combining to create the decline of a species or habitat. An abundance of information is necessary to tease apart the problems so solutions can be implemented. Fortunately, that information can be found quickly by utilizing a long-time best friend of humans: the domestic dog. 

The Conservation Canines program combines the precision and efficiency of detection dogs to readily locate wildlife scat (feces) samples. After analysis in a lab, the samples provide a wide variety of genetic, physiological, toxicological and dietary information that reveals the details of an ecological tapestry. These indicators enable us to ascertain species abundance, distribution, resource use, and physiological health all in relation to the environmental pressure(s) the species is encountering.

Our scat detection dogs can quickly locate samples from multiple species simultaneously across large, remote areas repeatedly over time. Our dogs minimize the sampling bias that can occur with traditional wildlife detection methods (remote cameras, radio-collaring, hair snags, and trapping). No other method can acquire such a vast amount of reliable information in so short a time, making this approach incredibly valuable for conservation planners and land managers.


A program of the University of Washington's Center For Conservation Biology

Content © 2018 by Conservation Canines

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