Breeding Functional Working Dogs with Dr. Jessica Hekman

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Dr. Jessica Hekman from Dog Zombie about Breeding Functional Dogs. Science Highlight: Advancing Genetic Selection and Behavioral Genomics of Working Dogs Through Collaborative Science What is functional breeding? The population is no more at risk of X disease than the dog population as a whole. Also prioritizing behavioral wellness over looks …

Growing as Consultants for Scat Dog Teams: A Co-Founder Conversation

In this episode, we sit down with Heather Nootbaar and Rachel Hamre, cofounders of K9 Conservationists. We dive into the work we did in Kenya, especially what Heather and Rachel worked on after Kayla went home. We also discuss what we found surprising, inspiring, challenging, and fun about working with Action for Cheetahs in Kenya. We talk about our future …

Combining a Love of Dogs with Conservation with Co-Founder Heather Nootbaar

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla interviews co-founder Heather. They discuss how Heather got into the world of conservation detection dogs, her experience before K9 Conservationists, and how she and Kayla joined forces.  Science Highlight: Using Scent Detection Dogs in Conservation Settings: A Review of Scientific Literature Regarding Their Selection Topics Discussed in this Episode: Heather’s dad, who showed bearded …

Action for Cheetahs with Mary Wykstra

In this bonus episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Mary Wykstra from Carnivores, Livelihoods and Landscapes, about the work they are doing with Actions for Cheetahs in Kenya.  Transcription (AI-Generated) Kayla Fratt (KF) 0:01Do you have your own passion projects that you’d like to turn into a podcast? Let me tell you a little bit about anchor anchor is …

Collaboration, Invasive Plants, and Insects with Arden from New York New Jersey Trail Conference

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Arden from the New York New Jersey Trail Conference about her work helping build coalitions and use detection dogs to mitigate invasive insect and plant infestations. Science Highlight: Detection dogs in nature conservation: A database on their world-wide deployment with a review on breeds used and their performance compared to other …

Things to Consider When Starting a Conservation Detection Dog Program

If you’ve used conservation detection dogs in the past or are considering them for future projects, you may wonder whether it’s better to just get a dog yourself versus hiring an expensive outsourced team. There are a lot of factors to consider when starting a conservation detection dog program from scratch, though: dogs are much more complicated to use and …

Why Do Conservation Detection Dogs Make False Alerts?

In January 2022, the K9 Conservationists Team was hired to come to Kenya to help with a struggling conservation detection dog program. Action for Cheetahs in Kenya has two experienced detection dogs paired with two very green handlers. Our job was to help mentor the handlers and create new best practices for the program going forward. One of the most …

Conservation Canines: How Dogs work for the Environment

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Isabelle Groc about her book Conservation Canines: How Dogs Work for the Environment. Science Highlight: Performance of detection dogs and visual searches for scat detection and discrimination amongst related species with identical diets Links Mentioned in the Episode: Isabelle Groc Book list Where to find Isabelle Groc: Website  You can support …

Midseason Musings: 2021 Summer Update

We are halfway through our season of finding dead bats on wind farms. This work will help biologists understand trends in how the turbines affect bats, particularly during migration. I am handling Niffler for his first season as a K9 Conservationist, while Rachel Hamre handles Barley at another field site. We’re all loving this setup. Niffler is getting lots of …

What Is a Conservation Detection Dog?

Conservation detection dogs are dogs that are specially trained to sniff out odors related to conservation. They work similarly to bomb, drug, or Search and Rescue dogs – but instead of searching for accelerants, drugs, or missing people, they search for things related to conservation biology. Generally, conservation detection dogs sniff for things that fall into a few broad categories: …