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More project updates coming soon..

Discover Our Expertise

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Bedbug Detection Dogs 

We have been hard at work getting both Molly and Wren qualified as NASDU bedbug detection dogs. It is important for us to be assessed by an outside company to ensure both handler and dogs are working at industry standards and have a non-biased report of our abilities. 

 

We aim to be assessed in April so we can provide a two dog team for Bedbug Detection (NASDU) for private and pest control businesses to take advantage of our highly effective team of dogs with a 90% detection rate tested in double blind and scenario biased trials through out our assessment and training.

Passive methods such as Bedbug traps are less effective with only 20% detection success where as human inspection ranged between 50-80%. the use of dogs is a highly effective tool to use to screen large venues efficiently and aid human inspections.

If you are a pest control company in the South West interested in working alongside a dog team please contact us today. 

March 2024

Biosecurity Demostrations and Talk with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

February 2024

Wren and I travelled to the Isles of Scilly to help out with public engagement and promotion of biosecurity conservation detection dogs with the IOS wildlife trust. Seabirds on the islands have evolved over millions of years to breed in isolation, free from the pressures of mainland predators such as stoats, hedgehog, fox, and rat. The team at the @scillywildlife trust behind the project to increase the biosecurity efforts in rat eradication to protect seabird species that use the island as breeding sites as well as the other native species that call this home. An invasive or alien species is an introduced species to an environment that becomes overpopulated and harms its new environment. Invasive species adversely affect habitats, causing ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage. Adding an invasive non-native species on to the island introduces a new predation pressure on the seabird breeding areas; which is the most vulnerable area for sustaining and preserving the population. The current passive detection methods used in rat biosecurity are wax chew blocks (to show teeth marks), ink cards (to show footprints), rope guards on boats, and camera traps. The passive methods rely heavily on the invasive species finding the monitoring station and using it, whereas active methods such as detection dogs can be used in conjunction with current methods as an additional tool to pick up on early detection. The use of a rat biosecurity detection dog is to monitor the rat incursions and help protect seabird islands. Biosecurity rat detection dogs can be used to assist in checks of island-bound cargo and vessels, to be an addition to the current passive biosecurity surveillance efforts and to assist in responses to suspected or confirmed incursion events. Rat detection dogs are trained to indicate on live rats and rat carcasses, urine, faeces and even strands of fur. Wren demonstrating on Kong how a conservation detection dog could be utilised on the Isle of Scilly for rat biosecurity. 

Info Ref Biosecurity for life, 2021.

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Demonstrations and talks

We have been very busy attending universities, college's, and private companies demonstrating our dogs abilities and skill set in detecting odour. We have been to Bath Spa University inspiring students and talking about how we can incorporate conservation detection dogs into ecological surveys. Wren and Molly demonstrated what we look for in a detection dog prospect and a bit about play. River also demonstrated some mantrailing. We also went to Bicton College to demo and talk about our conservation detection dogs, both Molly and Wren attended this event. We also have attended private training days with companies interested in Scentwork and scent detection training. 

Link to future article : Detection dogs – Bath Spa University

February 2024

Bat and Bird Detection Training

December 2023

Over the winter we have been focusing on Wren imprinting onto dead bat and dead bird for future operational work on bat/bird mortality surveys. Wren has proven herself to be highly efficient in detecting kong (her training odour) and is now ready for operational work. She should be ready for work in the new year 2024! Watch this space!

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Mantrailing 

River and I have started our Mantrailing and tracking journey this month to further expand on my scentwork knowledge and handling skills. I'm already blown away by Rivers ability to find a person she hasn't met before by sniffing a scent article (glove, sock, hat etc.) and then tracking them down. Absolutely incredible how a dogs nose can preform such a task. Looking forward to progressing in this line of training with River and learning lots.

November 2023

LANTRA Accredited Conservation Detection Dog Handler

November 2023

This year I completed my LANTRA Accredited Conservation Detection Dog Handler course that covered aspects of detection dog handling, welfare and safety for the conservation detection dog as well as
elements of environmental consideration and habitat management. During this intense course I handled a variety of different breeds of dogs and at various levels of training. Wren also had her chance to shine on some of the environmental searches and didn't disappoint on her abilities to detect kong.

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Wren's Training Log

Wren is currently developing an extensive training log, collecting data on her progress on each search including search sensitivity, recall reliability, emergency stop reliability, search effort, and search efficiency. This is to keep track on her detection development.

June 2023

Freelancing Ecology 

June-September 2023

During the summer of 2023 I have been freelancing as an ecologist undertaking bat emergence surveys, dawn bat transects, and reptile surveys.

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PTES Water Vole Surveys

April 2023

We conduct voluntary water vole surveys for the PTES for the National Water Vole Monitoring Programme. 

Water voles are a vulnerable species that started to lose their homes in the 1940s and 50s with the intensification of agriculture, but the most devastating factor to their demise came during the 1980s and 90s. Illegally released American mink spread furiously across the countryside preying on the vulnerable native mammals, and continue to do so today. In just ten years water vole numbers had crashed by almost 90%. The People’s Trust for Endangered Species launched the first National Water Vole Monitoring Programme (NWVMP) across Britain in 2015 to establish where water voles remain and how many there are. The knowledge gained will guide our best conservation efforts.

You can get involved here: Survey water voles - People's Trust for Endangered Species (ptes.org)

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