Inspiring Dogs Are Working to Save World’s Endangered Species

Dogs help humans in all sorts of ways. They support troops with PTSD, work in law enforcement, and aid those with medical needs. But did you know dogs help protect endangered species? We didn’t until we learned about a fantastic organization called Animals Saving Animals that opened our eyes to a number of ways dogs are making a difference.

A Global Effort

Dogs are excellent conservation aids because of the same traits that make them appealing to law enforcement. Canines have remarkable sniffing and tracking skills.

Groups employ dogs in a variety of ways. According to Quartz, dogs help with environmental projects like locating invasive brown tree snakes in Guam, tracking rare turtles in the U.S., and hunting poachers in Zimbabwe and India.

Another example comes from the United States. Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C), works with international partners. The organization trains high-energy rescue dogs to work on behalf of other animals and nature. Recently, the dogs were in Utah to track the presence of an invasive Lespedeza plant.



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We train our dogs to alert when they find what we’re looking for. Utah’s cue to lie down isn’t Aimee’s voice – it’s the presence of an invasive Lespedeza plant. 🐾 We start out teaching the dogs that a target scent = ball. Over time, they have to find the scent to get the ball. Soon, we ask them to find the scent, then lie down (or sit, depending on the dog), then BALL! 🐾 What questions do you have about training detection dogs? 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 #k9training #dogswithjobs #k9unit #workingdogs #workingdogsofig #wd4cutah #stopinvasives #invasivespecies #conservationdetectiondogs #outdoorpups #dogsthatcamp #bordercolliesmile #bordercollieslife #mydogismy #offleashlife #offleashsisterhood #offleashhiking #exploremore #wagmorebarkless

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On their website, WD4C  says, “Great conservation detection dogs have an obsessive play drive and an unrelenting toy focus. Their never-quit attitude makes them nearly impossible to keep in a family home, but perfect members of the WD4C family.”

Animals Saving Animals

Daryll Pleasants founded Animals Saving Animals. This group trains anti-poaching dogs in Wales. Then, the dogs work all over the world similar to the way police dogs do.

Pleasants told BBC Earth, “Although dogs are not a silver bullet in the fight against poaching they are a huge security force multiplier. One dog is able to secure the same area as seven rangers.”

Another incredible conservation effort comes from the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology. They train dogs to smell wild animal droppings in remote regions. This method is used to monitor the presence and health of endangered species around the world.

This is how it works: the dogs track other animals’ feces. Then, researchers analyze the samples. These indicators give the researchers insight into the environmental health of a particular species.

We never knew dogs were capable of this tremendous scientific research. Just another reason to love canines!

See one of these super-intelligent dogs in action. Watch the video below to meet Drum, a Springer Spaniel trained to protect the last remaining Northern White Rhinos. A pretty important job!

H/T Quartz
Featured image c/o Animals Saving Animals Facebook

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