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Published on November 19, 2007

Author: Christo

Source: authorstream.com

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Using K9s to Survey for Desert Tortoise:  Using K9s to Survey for Desert Tortoise Mary E. Cablk and Jill S. Heaton Credits:  Credits US Army Redlands Institute, University of Redlands Working Dogs for Conservation Cindee Valentin US Fish and Wildlife Service Bureau of Land Management Desert Tortoise Conservation Center Background: Dogs for Wildlife:  Background: Dogs for Wildlife Contraband – illegal poaching, import/export Scat dogs – Fox, Bear, Lynx, Wolf, Whale* Wildlife dogs – birds (dead), cougar*, seal* Wildlife dogs are not hunting dogs No standards or certification – no guarantee on quality or safety No certified live animal detection dogs * anecdotal Study Overview:  Study Overview Quantify accuracy of dogs – surface, burrows Evaluate efficacy for environmental conditions Compare results of using dogs with using humans …Under realistic field conditions Study Progression:  Study Progression Training on residual scent Introduction to live animals Research phases I & II Introduction to animals in burrows Burrow trials Mark recapture surveys – human vs dog Scat vs Live Animal:  Doesn’t move Doesn’t respond Doesn’t reward Consequence of non-preservation = low Hunt/prey/play drive acceptable Moves Responds Rewards Consequence of non-preservation = extreme Brings out drive that inanimate target cannot bring out Scat vs Live Animal Safety, accuracy, reliability:  Safety, accuracy, reliability TES are legally protected Illegal to “take” – to harm, harass, kill Survey coverage Can’t always verify right/wrong answer An uncertified dog is an unproven and unreliable dog – an unknown entity:  An uncertified dog is an unproven and unreliable dog – an unknown entity Field Trials – Surface Animals:  Field Trials – Surface Animals Field Trials – Surface Animals:  Field Trials – Surface Animals Plot corner Weather station ‘wild’ tortoise Tethered tortoise Field Trials – Surface Animals:  Field Trials – Surface Animals 0.5 ha plots 87% accuracy 2.0 ha plots 95% accuracy Overall 91% accurate Dogs did not indicate on other fauna 112 total encounters with tortoises in trials 184 encounters with tortoises overall Field Trials - Burrows:  Field Trials - Burrows Overall 90% accurate Dogs did not indicated on burrows containing other fauna 164 total burrow encounters 68 tortoises in burrows Mark recapture – People vs K9s:  Time: 2 – 2.5 hrs Count: 94 (40) Time: 2 – 3 hrs Count: 105 (50) Mark recapture – People vs K9s Mark recapture – People vs K9s:  Mark recapture – People vs K9s Size: 110 – 280mm 6 in burrows 7 in shrubs Size: 30 -280mm 10 in burrows 19 in shrubs Lessons from the Field: Creating/Selecting the dog:  Lessons from the Field: Creating/Selecting the dog Any detection dog is not a Wildlife dog Hunt + play drives are ideal Prey drive = not acceptable Team required – understand target, understand drive, understand goal Lessons from the Field: Program status:  Lessons from the Field: Program status Wildlife dog program in research phase (DoD, USFWS, USGS BRD, BLM) Can be done and will be highly useful when deployable teams certified Additional research requested by USFWS: Burrow research under search conditions Accuracy of finding juveniles/neonates Rich – the following slides are for your benefit during Q/A:  Rich – the following slides are for your benefit during Q/A There is a need for accurate, reliable, safe means of locating target wildlife species:  There is a need for accurate, reliable, safe means of locating target wildlife species Species are elusive:  Species are elusive Surveys are difficult, expensive, time consuming:  Surveys are difficult, expensive, time consuming Dogs…:  Dogs… Fast, efficient, accurate Rely on scent and visual cues Cost effective Reliable if trained and handled properly Training – learning the ‘layer’:  Training – learning the ‘layer’ Residual Scent Training Aids Training – learning the ‘layer’:  Training – learning the ‘layer’ Highly controlled situation First on-leash Recognition and independent alert  off-leash Transition to live animal:  Transition to live animal Adults Juveniles Surface Burrows Field Trials – Surface Animals:  Field Trials – Surface Animals ‘wild’ tortoise Tethered tortoise Field Trials – Surface Animals:  Field Trials – Surface Animals 20.2 meters 20 meters Field Trials – Surface Animals:  Field Trials – Surface Animals Detection distances:  Detection distances 0.5m – 62.8m Exact straight-line distance calculated Independent of size, age, or sex of animal Independent of trial or wild animals Independent of time of day or environmental conditions Field Trials - Burrows:  Field Trials - Burrows

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