CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EXPLORES UTILIZING BIOLOGICAL SCENT DETECTION CANINES FOR SCIENCE.
Helayna Pera; 1701 Nimbus Road, Rancho Cordova, CA, 95670; (916) 850-9986; helayna.pera@wildlife.ca.gov; Harvest Vieira, Sandra Jacks, Virginia O'Rourke, Jodi Berg, Jennifer Calrson, Lynette Shimek
Since 2006, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has had a successful law enforcement K9 program, but what about using scent detections dogs for science? Staff at the Department are exploring the effectiveness of utilizing the amazing scent detection capabilities of dogs for science. However, before deploying a dog to collect data, consistent training and adherence to protocols is key to any effective scent detection dog work. Using the successful law enforcement K9 program as a platform, Department scientists are building a scientific component while adhering to standardized training and certification requirements. This ensures effective and reliable data collection, offsets liability and safety concerns to not only the handler, canine, and general public but to wildlife species, and provides consistency amongst Department canine handlers. We recognize the need for a scientific based program not only for deployment of canine handlers but to also review projects being submitted to the Department for use to find sensitive resources such as endangered species.
Wildlife Techniques and Technologies