It is great to see koala detection dog Oscar making good use of his training and detecting on Koalas in Sydney.
TOY koalas have been used to train sniffer dogs to help track down a colony of the endangered marsupials on the fringes of Sydney.
Handler Jim Shields rubbed the second-hand stuffed animals on the bellies of real koalas to teach his dog Oscar to recognise the scent.
When Oscar, working with Mr Shields for the National Parks and Wildlife Service at West Head at the entrance to Pittwater, barks up a tree it’s a sign he’s found a koala, or at least detected their smell or droppings.
“I originally trained Oscar in wildlife management and he was used to chase away kangaroos on the runway at Merimbula airport,” Mr Shields, a natural resources consultant, said. “Two years ago I began training him to detect koalas with the help of a dog training guru, Gary Jackson, in Brisbane. We’d put the stuffed koalas from Vinnies, which had been rubbed on real koalas at a nearby wildlife sanctuary, up in trees for Oscar to try to find. Read more…
With their very keen sense of smell, trained dogs are the perfect tool to find endangered species so we can manage our wildlife for the benefit of all for the future.