CONSERVATION DETECTOR DOGS
Specializing in Wildlife Surveys
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The following represent some of the projects which have utilized PackLeader supplied training and dogs.  Please let us know if you would like additional information.

2008-2010:  Survey Eastern Indigo Snakes (Currently in Year 3 – November 2010-January 2011)
Using trained detection dogs to locate Eastern Indigo Snakes (Drymarchon couperi) in their natural habitat. Location:  Georgia and Florida
Principle Investigators: Dr. Chris L. Jenkins and Dirk J. Stevenson, Project Orianne Ltd.

September-November 2010:  Location of Cougar Kill in Eastern Oregon
During this timeframe, PackLeader trained two conservation detection dogs for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to participate in an ongoing 3 year study of cougar kill in northeastern Oregon.
Principle Investigator: Greg Davidson, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, La Grande, OR

Multi Year Project:  Survey of Cat Species in Belize (Final Season June-July 2010)
Project is for study of noninvasive tracking of jaguars (Panthera onca) and co-occurring feline species in Belize by genotyping feces and remote camera trapping
Principle Investigator: Claudia Wultsch, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

June 2010:  Pilot Study Cougar Survey in Nebraska
PackLeader provided two conservation detection dogs and two handlers for a one month survey of cougar populations in Nebraska.
Handlers: Dr. Karen DeMatteo, Research Associate at both University of Missouri – St. Louis and St. Louis Zoo and Sarah Jones
Principle Investigator:  Sam Wilson, Nebraska Park and Game Commission

April-May 2010:  Tigers and Snow Leopards in Bhutan
CDD Bruiser and handler Claudia Wultsch were invited by British Broadcasting Company to work in Bhutan on a BBC production on tigers and snow leopards.
Handler: Claudia Wultsch, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

April-May 2010:  Location of Indigo Snake Nests/Eggs
Pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of using a conservation detection dog to locate the nests/eggs of Eastern Indigo Snakes.
Principle Investigator:  Javan Bauder, Project Orianne

October 2009-April 2010:  Javan Rhinos
Project was for study of the Javan rhino population, in Cat Loc, Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam.
Principle Investigator: Sarah Brook, World Wildlife Fund

Multi Year Project (Latest – May to November 2009):  Survey of Bush Dogs
This study used scat-sniffing dogs, a highly successful technique with carnivores, and advances in genetic methodologies, as methods to rapidly gather ecological information (e.g., presence/absence, home range size, number of individuals in an area) on the elusive and wide-ranging bush dog.  Location:  Argentina
Principle Investigator: Dr. Karen DeMatteo, Research Associate at both University of Missouri – St. Louis and St. Louis Zoo

July 2009:  Survey Greater Short-Horned Lizard
Using trained detection dogs to locate Greater Short Horned Lizards in their natural habitat. Location:  Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan
Principle Investigator: Krista Frink, et al, Parks Canada Agency

2009:  Survey Eastern Indigo Snakes
Using trained detection dogs to verify absence of Eastern Indigo Snakes (Drymarchon couperi) on commercial location. Location:  Georgia
Project Manager: Donald Hendrix, ESI

Pilot Project:  Spider Monkeys
Research project is a study of the spider monkeys in Nicaragua.  This is a limited term pilot project to evaluate the utilization of conservation detection dogs in the study of spider monkeys in this region. 
Principle Investigator: Carol Chambers, Northern Arizona University

Multi-Year project:  New England Right Whale Study
With significant low levels of calves and an increasing decline in the overall number of right whales  researchers turned to the aid of detection dogs for locating floating scat. Whale scat floats for a  limited amount of time (30 – 45 min) making time of the essence. Dogs were positioned on the bow of  boats and indicated which direction scat was located. Scats were then analyzed for fluctuations in stress  hormones and toxicity levels to determine their affect on reproduction.
Principle Investigator: Dr. Roz Rolland, New England Aquarium

Multi Year Project:  Survey of Bat Species US Southwest
Use of Conservation dog teams to survey bat species in New Mexico and Arizona.
Principle Investigators: Carol Chambers, Northern Arizona University; Alice Chung-MacCoubrey, National Park Service

Kangaroo Rat Survey
Conservation dog teams are being utilized to locate Dipodomys nitratoides exilis at the Alkali Sink  Ecological Reserve. Detection dogs were trained to locate kangaroo rat scats.  
Principle Investigator: Curtis Bjurlin, Endangered Species Recovery Program, Fresno, CA

Two projects: New Mexico Bobcat Survey
A conservation dog team is being utilized to assess the presence and absence of bobcats in the Elephant  Lake region of New Mexico.  Detection dog was trained to locate bobcat scats.
Principle Investigator: Dr. Robert L. Harrison, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico

Two Projects: Mojave Desert Tortoise Survey
The Hyundai/Kia Motor Company employed detection dogs in locating live tortoise specimens in  compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s protocol for listed species under the  Endangered Species Act. While in the field, dogs also indicated on occupied burrows up to 3m in  depth, carcasses and scats.
Principle Investigator: William Vanherweg

Multi Year project: Vermont Forest Carnivore Study
Conservation dog teams were utilized to assess the presence and absence of forest carnivores in areas of  human disturbance throughout Vermont. Detection dogs were trained to locate black bear, fisher and  bobcat scats.
Principle Investigator:  Robert Long, University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and  Natural Resources

August 2002:  Project C.A.T. (Eastern Cascades)
CCD’s assisted the Department of Zoology at the University of Washington, with a pilot study observing the effects of development on cougars in the Eastern Cascade Mountains. Conservation detection dogs were used to locate cougar scats. Dogs preformed in snow covered terrain locating samples 1m below the snow.
Handler: Megan Weigley
Principle Investigator: Francis Bonier, University of Washington, Dept. of Biology.

April-July 2002: Yellowhead Ecosystem Grizzly Study
The Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington and the Foothills Model Forest  extension of Parks Canada used detector dogs to locate grizzly and black bear scats around Jasper  National Park. Collected scats were analyzed to estimate population size and determine  significance of human disturbance on grizzly bears in Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada.
Principle Investigator: Dr. Sam Wasser, University of Washington, Center for Conservation Biology.

April-July 2001, Yellowhead Ecosystem Grizzly Study
The Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington and the Foothills Model Forest  extension of Parks Canada used detector dogs to locate grizzly and black bear scats around Jasper  National Park. Collected scats were analyzed to estimate population size and determine  significance of human disturbance on grizzly bears in Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada.
Principle Investigator:  Dr. Sam Wasser, University of Washington, Center for Conservation Biology.

2000/2001: Species Identification Study
Dogs were trained to distinguish between scats from similar species. Two separate studies were conducted on  distinguishing grizzly bear from black bear and kit fox from red fox.
Trainer/Handler:  Barbara Davenport
Principle Investigators:  Aimee Hurt (Grizzly / Black Bear) and Deb Smith (Kit Fox / Red Fox)

During the period 1997 through 2000 Barbara and Steve provided training and dogs for various projects for Dr. Wasser of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington

Non-Wildlife projects:

2008:  Using Detection Dogs to Locate Leaks in Sewer Lines
Project was conducted in shore lines in Pierce County Washington. Dog proved effective in locating leaks.
Project Manager: Frank DiBiase, Pierce County Waste Control

Pilot Project:  Location of Invasive Plants
This pilot project was to determine if detection dogs could identify invasive plant species. See Research Article:  Controlling an Invasive Salt Marsh Grass (Spartina patens) in Washington State: A Case Study of Resilience
Principle Investigator:  David Milne, Evergreen State College

CURRENT RESEARCH

Where have we been??
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Check dog's profile to see a more detailed information on several of our current/ most recent projects:

Bruiser -- Jaguar and co-existing felids (C. Wultsch)
CJ -- Eastern Indigo Snakes (Project Orianne)
Chevy & Pepper --  Javan Rhino (WWF - Vietnam)
Fargo -- Right Whales (R. Rolland & New England Aquarium)
Merlin & Train -- Bush dogs and Jaguar (K. DeMatteo, Univ. of Missouri - St Louis & St. Louis Zoo)