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Workshop: The use of Detection Dogs on Biodiversity and Conservation Studies

June 9, 2015

Bioinsight, together with BirdLife South Africa and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, is promoting this event to be held on 1st June 2015 in Cape Town.

Bioinsight, together with BirdLife South Africa and the Endangered Wildlife Trust,  is promoting a Workshop on “The use of Detection Dogs on Biodiversity and Conservation Studies” to be held on the 1st July 2015 at the Kirstenbosch Research Center (Cape Town, Western Cape Province).
Speakers from various biology fields will be presenting their work with detection dogs either for conservation purposes, ecological studies or environmental impact assessments. The conference will be held during the morning and we are planning to have a live demonstration of dogs finding bird carcasses as an example of detection dogs application.
The admission for the workshop if free but registration is essential and limited to 50 participants. Please register until the 24th June 2015 by sending an email with your name, institution and contact number to

Additional information:


Conference programme: Available soon


How to get there?


Workshop venue

    Kirstenbosch Research Center

    Newlands, Cape Town, 7725

    South Africa


    1st July 2015

    From 8:30 to 1:30 PM


Free but essential

Until 24th June 2015

Send email with name, institution and contact number to




Confirmed speakers:



Vicky Hudson


The application value of conservation detection dogs when surveying for geometric tortoises


The cryptic colouration and shy, sedentary behaviour of the critically endangered geometric tortoise make it difficult to detect in its habitat. Visual surveys are costly and labour intensive. In 2013 CapeNature implemented a pilot project to explore the use of conservation detection dogs as an additional survey tool. To date conservation detection dogs have been used to do presence/absence and total population surveys in various applications and locations across the Western Cape and the organisation has partnered with USA-based NGO Working Dogs for Conservation for tortoise field surveys on two occasions. Vicki Hudson, ecological coordinator, CapeNature.



Francisco Cervantes


Biocan Utility: carcass searching dogs in Spain


Biocan Utility is a project developed by Ideas Medioambientales in Spain. It currently provides carcass searching dogs’ services for energy projects. Francisco Cervantes, a biologist and dog trainer involved in the creation on the project, will talk about its main results and challenges.





Shannon McKay 


Biological Detection Dog – Training and quality challenges


Shannon McKay holds a MSc degree with her dissertation on scent training in dogs. She is a professional dog behaviourist and trainer with a special interest in scent training and has trained a number of dogs for detection and scent-matching work. Her presentation will cover the training and quality control challenges inherent with biological scent detection dogs.



Luke Strugnell


The Use of Scent detection dogs during Post-construction bird monitoring at wind energy facilities in South Africa


Luke Strugnell is a bird specialist consultant working on energy infrastructure in Africa for Wildskies Ecological Services. Luke has a BSc Hons degree from Rhodes University and is a Proffesional Zoologist with SACNASP. He will talk abour the use of scent detection dogs during Post-construction bird monitoring at wind energy facilities in South Africa.



João Paula


Use of detection dogs in Portugal


João Paula is an ecologist professionally certified by the Special Unit of the Portuguese Public Police – K9 unit to train detection dogs applied to ecological studies. He will be presenting a review of his work with detection dogs in Portugal.




... and more!







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