Navigation Links
Scat sniffing dogs detecting rare California carnivores
Date:12/11/2007

BERKELEY, Calif.Scientists at the U.S. Forest Service Redwood Sciences Lab and University of Vermont found scat sniffing dogs might be the best way to confirm the presence of rare carnivores in forested areas like the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In 2003 and 2004, they compared the ability of dogs, remote cameras and hair snares to detect fishers, bobcats and black bears at 168 sites throughout Vermont. Dogs had the highest detection rate for targeted species and were the most cost-effective, according to findings published last summer in The Journal of Wildlife Management.

U.S. Forest Service scientists with the Pacific Southwest Research Station used detection dog teams from the University of Washingtons Center for Conservation Biology last summer to study a Pacific fisher population in the Sierra National Forest. The study will help determine how efforts to reduce wildland fire risks there might affect the animal.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ruled the fishers listing under the Endangered Species Act as warranted, but precluded because of other priorities and a lack of funds.

Land managers often have difficulty detecting forest carnivores because they tend to be elusive, solitary and on the go. Common methods for confirming a species at a site include using remotely-triggered cameras and barbed wire snares that snag hair. Both methods require the use of bait that can lure animals away from their typical range.

Scientists involved in the Vermont study, led by Robert A. Long, found detection dogs were three and a half times more successful at detecting species than cameras, the second best method. The dogs also only needed one visit per site to ensure a high probability of detection, an important consideration when long distances, difficult terrain and complex land ownership make research challenging.

Right now, dogs bring the most bang for the buck, compared to passive survey methods like snares and cameras, said Bill Zielinski, a Redwood Sciences Lab research ecologist and one of the studys authors.

Zielinski hopes one day scat detection dogs might be trained to find many of the rare carnivores in a given area. These surveys could aid land management decisions because carnivores are a barometer of ecosystem health and many are particularly sensitive to human activity. Scientists can use scat to determine stress levels, learn what animals are eating and identify individuals through DNA.

Successful scat detection dogs tend to be high-energy mutts, with an excessive play drive. Often, they were difficult pets left at shelters. Handlers reward the dogs by playing tug of war with a favorite toy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Roland Giller
rgiller@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ancient whale fall from Californias Año Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
2. Ancient whale fall from Californias Ao Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
3. New paper examines dams effects on California salmon
4. Microfossils disclose geologic history of eastern California
5. Massive California fires consistent with climate change
6. Southern California institutions to collaborate on stem cell research
7. Carnivores in recent study help Bergmanns rule reach the 21st century
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/4/2017)...  CES 2017 – Valencell , the leading ... the launch of two new versions of its ... sensor modules that incorporate the best of Valencell,s ... The two new designs include Benchmark BE2.0, a ... Benchmark BW2.0, a 2-LED version of its original ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 20, 2016   Valencell , the leading ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader ... announced today the launch of a new, highly ... that includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey ... biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December ... leading global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with ... behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients ... strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  Alkahest Inc. ("Alkahest"), ... for neurodegenerative diseases and other age-related conditions, announced ... company as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, ... development activities at Alkahest and serve on the ... recently served as Executive Director at Dynavax, where ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... Jordan, Utah (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... has been named an INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award winner for 2017. ... an industry leader in unified communications solutions. In 2016, CallTower was awarded with the ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Nipro Corporation (Osaka, Japan) and Transonic Systems ... Nipro will receive exclusive marketing and sales rights for all non-OEM Transonic products in ... patients in Japan, the new Nipro - Transonic JV is a natural next step ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 2017 Interpace Diagnostics Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... clinically useful molecular diagnostic tests and pathology services, ... securities purchase agreement with three  institutional investors to ... stock in a registered direct offering.  In a ... sell to the same investors warrants to purchase ...
Breaking Biology Technology: