Making a Detection Dog Team: Assessing Volunteer Teams in Various Working Conditions

Thank you to Madison, who volunteered to write this article. As the world of conservation detection dogs grows, finding or creating more dog and handler teams becomes necessary. Let’s face it, working dogs are expensive! This can cause a barrier for smaller conservation projects and organizations that would benefit from having some conservation dog teams at their side. This is …

What are Getxent Tubes? With Gregory Herin

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Gregory Herin from Getxent to discuss Getxent tubes.  Science Highlight: Noninvasive Identification of Herpetofauna: Pairing Conservation Dogs and Genetic Analysis  Links Mentioned in the Episode: Dr. Mallory DeChant and Dr. Hall research on odor thresholds University of Otago Graduate Thesis Getxent Product Sheet Getxent response to thesis publication. PDF below Where …

Science Highlight: Nontarget Species Behavior and Scat

This week’s science highlight concerns something many K9 Conservationists are very familiar with: scat! The study, “How Behavior of Nontarget Species Affects Perceived Accuracy of Scat Detection Dog Surveys” was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports in 2018. The authors Karen E. DeMatteo, Linsey W. Blake, Julie K. Young, and Barbara Davenport sought to investigate possible reasons for detection teams collecting …

Canine Ergonomics 1 & 2 (Patreon Book Club Notes)

As part of our monthly Patreon Benefits, we have a book club. For the next few months (summer to fall 2022), we’re reading Canine Ergonomics by William Helton. These rough notes are for chapters 1 and 2 of the book and include heavy quotes of notable passages from the book. Join our book club on Patreon now to hop on …

Poop is Brown Gold: Genetic Analysis with Tara Wilson and Misa Winters

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Misa Winters and Tara Wilson about laboratory analysis of scat after field collection. Science Highlight: Duration of urination does not change with body size What can we learn from our scat samples? Genetic analysis (what species, what individual, what did it eat, sex typing) Morphological diet analysis (fur, bones, teeth, plants, …

How to Keep Bats Away from Wind Turbines with Jo Lock

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Jo Lock of Nose No Limit and Conservation Dogs Collective regarding her paper about using antecedent arrangement to help reduce bat fatalities on wind farms. Science Highlight: The relationship between the number of trainingsessions per week and learning in dogs Links Mentioned in the Episode: White paper – https://www.nosenolimit.com/bat-paper Nose No Limit …

How Wide Should Conservation Dog Search Transects Be? 

When searching an area for scat, invasive plants, or other data points, many researchers and conservation detection dog teams employ a transect search. In order to determine the appropriate spacing of your transects, you need to understand the local conditions influencing air flow and the probability of detection for your target in that space. There is no correct answer for …

The Great Big Data Nerdfest with Dr. Charles van Rees (Pt. 2)

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Dr. Charles Van Rees about data. They discuss the ins and outs of working with data and how to turn data into information scientists can use.Episode suggestion: Take the time to see, smell, and notice things outside! Call to action: Check out ebird, inaturalist or seek! What is/are data? Information that …

The Great Big Data Nerdfest with Dr. Charles van Rees (Pt. 1)

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Dr. Charles Van Rees about data. They discuss the ins and outs of working with data and how to turn data into information scientists can use.Episode suggestion: Take the time to see, smell, and notice things outside! Call to action: Check out eBird, iNaturalist or Seek! What is/are data? Information that …

Signal Detection Theory with Dr. Simon Gadbois

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla Fratt speaks with Dr. Simon Gadbois to talk about signal detection theory and his conservation work. Discussed in this Podcast: Dr. Gadbois and his work in Nova Scotia What is signal detection theory?  Signal detection theory is a means to measure the ability to differentiate between information-bearing patterns and random patterns that distract …