Train

Breed:
Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Began Working: 
First Assignment  -- May 2009

Acquired From: 
Lewis Country Humane Society (Stray)

Train was one of the new dogs in the kennel when he went on his first assignment to Argentina with Dr. Karen DeMatteo from University of Missouri -- St. Louis. (Bush dog, jaguar, puma/cougar, ocelot).  Projects have been conducted in 2007 and 2009.
As the human footprint continues to increase in size, there has been a concurrent decline in the number of intact ecosystems worldwide. Large tracts of land are disappearing and in their place are a series of islands with intact habitat surrounded by human infrastructure. While some species may not suffer an immediate effect of such habitat fragmentation, those species that require large tracts of land to survive, such as landscape carnivores (e.g., jaguar), do. These species must find ways to navigate their now heterogeneous landscape in order to locate prey and mates, while avoiding human-wildlife conflict (e.g., livestock predation, road kills). Providing biological corridors and wildlife crossings for landscape species are ways to minimize this conflict; however, this requires understanding the movement patterns of landscape species that have home ranges or territories composed of intact habitat dissected by farmland, pasture, and roads. This study will use three noninvasive techniques (detection dogs, advances in genetic methodologies, GIS technology) to collect this needed ecological data for four landscape carnivores (jaguars, pumas, bush dogs, ocelots) so that corridors and crossings can be developed for the interior Atlantic forests of Misiones Argentina. Collected scats will gain power through genetic and GIS analyses so that areas of potential conflict can be identified, area availability versus need can be evaluated, and areas requiring additional protection and research are identified.
2009 PROJECT -- Argentina
Dr. Karen DeMatteo, Research Associate at both University of Missouri – St. Louis and St. Louis Zoo
Photo Courtesy of K. DeMatteo
Photo Courtesy of K. DeMatteo
Photo Courtesy of K. DeMatteo
Celebrating Train's First Find in the Field
Photo Courtesy of K. DeMatteo
Train is now owned and loved by Karen.  In 2010 they were the lead team in a survey of the cougar population in Nebraska for another PackLeader client.  Train has participated in many educational programs and will be Karen's partner in her next field project.