USC academics lead establishment of conservation dog network

Published: Comments:
Animals Wildlife or Pets Environment Science & Research University & TAFE

Dr Celine Frere and Dr Romane Cristescu with detection dog ‘Baxter’

Two USC academics have been instrumental in establishing an Australian-first network of organisations that use dogs for environmental work.

Dr Celine Frere and Dr Romane Cristescu, who run USC’s Detection Dogs for Conservation program and are well known for their koala detection work, are celebrating the establishment this week of the Australian Conservation Dog Network.

This network comprises representatives from universities, non-profit organisations, governments, zoos, research institutions and businesses working with conservation dogs, and is dedicated to promoting the innovative use of dogs for environmental work.  

“We have been talking about establishing such a collaboration with the dedicated people working with detection dogs around Australia for the past two years,” she said.

“I am delighted that we have finally made it a reality by combining the expertise from five universities, government representatives, practitioners, welfare organisations and zoos across Australia.

“We are also keen to hear from others interested in becoming involved. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we have made a great start.”

Dr Cristescu said a dog’s sense of smell was up to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s, making canines suitable to be trained and deployed to detect and protect wildlife, including koalas and quolls, and sometimes even locate weeds or rare plants.

Josey Sharrad from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which sponsored the inaugural workshop, said her organisation strongly supported this important and much-needed initiative.

“Conservation dogs are an integral part of protecting the future of Australia’s unique wildlife and natural environment,” she said.

Acting Threatened Species Commissioner Sebastian Lang also supported the initiative, describing it as another example of partnerships working for threatened species recovery.

“Conservation dogs are an exciting and innovative approach to help us protect Australia’s remarkable plants and animals,” he said.

“They are another ‘tool in the toolkit’ for recovery, and I look forward to this new network sharing its expertise, training more conservation dogs and ultimately saving more species. The more trained and expertly handled conservation dogs working out in the field, the more wins for the environment.”

Present at the Australian Conservation Dog Network inaugural workshop were: USC, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Threatened Species Commissioner Office, Monash University, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, Biosecurity Queensland, Anthrozoology Research Group’s Dog Lab, Zoos Victoria, Dogs 4 Conservation, USC’s Detection Dogs for Conservation, Anthrozoology Research Group, Australian Ecosystems Foundation, Elmoby Ecology, Animal Eco-Warriors, Canidae Development, Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre and Local Environmental Solutions.

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
O what a week as USC welcomes new students 16 February 2018 | The University of the Sunshine Coast will welcome thousands of new students to its main campus at Sippy Downs when it hosts Orientation Week from 19-22 February. More information...
USC to welcome first students at Caboolture campus 16 February 2018 | The first group of students to enroll at USC’s new Caboolture campus will be treated to some fun and festive orientation days next week. More information...
Vice-Chancellor to present free geography lecture 08 February 2018 | Understanding the strong connections between institutions, people and places will be the topic of a free public lecture on geography by USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill on Tuesday 20 February. More information...
USC Drama students to perform Cosi 08 February 2018 | USC Drama students will perform the celebrated Australian play Cosi from 21-23 February at The Majestic Cinemas and Events Centre in Nambour.  More information...
Athletes shine in USC’s high performance program 18 February 2018 | A special program at the University of the Sunshine Coast that helps elite athletes achieve both their sporting and academic goals at the same time will have its 2018 launch on Monday 19 February. More information...
USC and Council join forces to protect roos 15 February 2018 | USC and Sunshine Coast Council have launched a “Look after our mob” campaign at Sippy Downs in a bid to conserve the local kangaroo populations. More information...
Nurse enrols at USC to expand career prospects 15 February 2018 | When enrolled nurse Sarah Grigg performed CPR a patient in 2009, it was a life-changing moment that set her on a path to upgrade her qualifications.  More information...
Warm support from USC for first Winter Olympian 15 February 2018 | USC will be cheering on its first Winter Olympian tomorrow (Friday 16 February) when PhD student Klaus Jungbluth competes in the 15km cross-country skiing event at Pyeongchang. More information...
Social toll of parenting at heart of loneliness study 14 February 2018 | Parents’ social lives can take a hit after having children and USC researchers are studying how this can lead to an overall feeling of loneliness. More information...
Engage entrepreneurs early to grow with Sunshine Coast, study finds 13 February 2018 | Business owners new to the region need to be channelled into support networks early to help them grow along with the Sunshine Coast population, a new report has found. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service