Saturday, 2 July 2011

June In a Nutshell

June has been an interesting and exciting month

 Firstly Conservation Dogs staff attended a Mammal society Course:
Non Invasive Survey Methods for Mammal Ecology
at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland which was run by
Dr Pete Turner and Dr Catherine Turner.

It was a very interesting and enjoyable course from learning about DNA Sequencing to having hands on experience placing :-
-Hair traps out,
-Small mammal pots for dropping collections
 -Placing Camera traps out.
A Hair Tube being assembled and positioned
Sticky tape placed inside the Tube, as well as a chicken leg placed securely inside the tube.
Hair Samples collected.
Peanut Butter used for the small mammal pots.
Droppings collected the day after in the small mammal pots.

Squirrel Hair Tube set out with selection of nuts.

I met many amazing and interesting people on the course that where working and experienced Ecologist from all over the UK like Cheshire, Worcester and Nottingham, everyone was so friendly and fortunately they all showed a great positive interest in the work Conservation dogs do.

 And I hope to work with several of them in the future, by either going along on their bat surveys and Great Crested Newt surveys or carrying out a demonstration of our Bat Carcass detection dog for a Bat Conservation Group later in the year.

(Group Photo June 5th 2011)
I want to say thank you to Pete Turner for all his help in training Luna our Pine Marten dog. He has been so helpful with helping to supply Pine Marten scats and to also help with ideas to push Conservation dogs into new projects and other interesting prospects.

Interesting contacts and enquiries:
This month we have received many really exciting and interesting enquiries regarding Conservation dogs, and other dogs working worldwide from wildlife detection dogs to scat dogs.

Firstly we have been in contact with staff involved in Koala detection dog training based in Queensland, there aim is to help monitor Koala's through scat surveys as well as actual detection of Koalas when high in tree's.
 This obviously is very difficult but through correct training the dog should show change in behaviour when near a live Koala or when able to scent a living Koala. This is all about reading your dog as a handler and a trainer to ensure you positively reinforce the correct wanted behaviour.
  I have asked to be kept informed of their great success, progress and how the searches are conducted. It is such an interesting search medium to use for Koala's and I wish them great Success.
Any help or advice Conservation Dogs and our staff can give we will be more than happy to help where we can.

Secondly we have been in contact with a lady from the US that wants a dog to search for Jaguar scat for her PHD, she intends to work the dog in Central America.
We have been in close contact about her work she intends to do which sounds fantastic. We have not supplied the dog for this project as a dog was required to be Hired out...which is something that we do not offer due to the nature of the work and the training the handler has to receive prior to handling detection dogs operationally.
However we are going to be available to offer help, advice and guidance through the process when she is handling operationally and wish her great success on the scat survey.

Thirdly - we have been following the work of Green dogs in South Africa, Rox the Founder of Green dogs has many projects running that are both innovative and exciting.
Welcome to the Green Dogs Website
Conservation Dogs hope to visit Green dogs again later this year with new dogs to train and a new projects I would love to help where we can. Conservation dogs wish Rox all the luck in the world on the new projects..keep us informed on your success.

Lastly, we have been asked for a press release for Hop Gossip magazine done by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Group:
The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

Conservation Dogs is featured in this months "HOP GOSSIP" and its a wonderful spread thank you very much Angela. We hope to work with ARC in the future on amphibian and reptile surveys.

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