Monday, July 6, 2015

Dogs put to work doing what they do best

Overly energetic and enthusiastic shelters dogs may not be as attractive to families looking for a pet, but their personalities can be put to use by researchers trying to locate and track wildlife.  These dogs can be trained to find scat of all kinds of wildlife, from wolves to impalas to whales, which the researchers will use to analyze for diet, diseases, hormone levels, and other factors.  Not only does using dogs to locate animals allow researchers to collect better information and faster, it also reduces the bias that can come with other, traditional methods of tracking, such as game cameras, traps, and snares.

Dog (domestic) (Canis lupus familiaris) by Terry Spivey, USDA Forest Service, 

To read more about these hard-working dogs: Poop-sniffing dogs work for wildlife researchers