Going to the dogs! How a special fleet of canines is helping us learn more about the natural world around us and respond to pressing conservation issues.
We’re all aware that dogs have a superior sense of smell. But did you know they can be trained to find illegal snares, smuggled elephant ivory, animal sign, endangered plants and noxious weeds, among others? Or that many of these detection dogs are adopted from shelters?
Come find out how conservation dogs are chosen and trained for this work and learn about the many different types of targets they are finding as part of global efforts to preserve wildlife and their habitat, and as we seek to better understand some of the natural wonders surrounding us that we can otherwise only know fleetingly.
Special emphasis will be placed on the ongoing collaborative efforts to eradicate the noxious weed Dyer’s woad from Mount Sentinel and in Montana, on noxious, invasive weeds present in this area, and steps to prevent them from spreading.
Ngaio Richards is the Forensics & Field Specialist for Working Dogs for Conservation, a Montana-based nonprofit that has been selecting, training and partnering dogs with biologist handlers for nearly 20 years. She is also a member of, and cadaver dog handler in-training for, Clark Fork-Bitterroot Search Dogs.
For more information about Working Dogs for Conservation: http://wd4c.org/ and www.facebook.com/WorkingDogsForConservation
Wednesday, December 7
Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.
$5 suggested donation, MNHC members free