Why we use dogs and how they contribute to conservation

Could you spot a bird on the ground in all of this vegetation? Unlikely! Humans rely on eyesight and hearing to survey wildlife. Unfortunately, when the vegetation is thick, it’s nearly impossible to see small animals on the ground. Even when the vegetation isn’t thick, it’s still really hard to see them! This is where a dog’s incredible sense of smell comes in. Dogs’ ability to smell things we can’t see helps us collect critical data about wildlife. Dogs also cover more ground more quickly than we can and allow us to collect data that might otherwise have to be collected invasively. For instance, we can use dogs to find animal droppings that reveal a wealth of genetic information, rather than capturing and immobilizing an animal to collect samples.

Video Credit: Rachel Hammre and Kayla Fratt