we use detection dogs to find koala habitats, so we can ensure koalas live in safe places.
Across Australia, koalas’ homes are under threat. Development, land clearing and deforestation disrupt the lives of these animals and bring threats of road strike, animal attack and disease.
We needed to get a better sense of how bad things were, but we didn’t even know exactly where the koalas lived.
First, we partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to research the local koala populations. And then we brought in the dogs.
A dog’s sense of smell is up to 100,000 times stronger than that of humans. We train formerly-sheltered, highly-active dogs—who may otherwise never be adopted—to sniff out koala scat and fur.
By locating the scat, and in some cases the koalas themselves, we can collect data about the genetics and health of the local koala population. We can also use this data to protect individual animals and conserve ecosystems.
Successfully training dogs to locate koalas means we can work faster and with greater accuracy to protect them and the places they call home.
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The problems we face are urgent, complicated and resistant to change. Real solutions demand creativity, hard work and involvement from people like you.