The sniffer dog as a (re)search assistant for the field naturalist.
Simon Gadbois ~ Canid Behaviour Research Team, Dalhousie University
Wildlife Conservation Canines: Sounds crazy? Simon Gadbois had been studying canids (members of the dog family) since 1992. When the Canadian Centre for Wolf Research closed in 2007, he focussed his attention on domestic dogs as research assistants in the field. Since 2009, he has been involved in a number of projects where dogs helped finding wildlife or their signs in their natural environment, including species at risk and invasive species. About half a dozen dogs have been actively involved in projects looking for Ribbon Snakes, Wood Turtles, Blanding’s Turtles, Eastern Coyotes, Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetles, Carcasses of bats and birds at wind farm sites, etc. Dr. Gadbois will discuss the different projects from the past decade as well as the challenges and problems associated with training, breeds, target species and the human factor.