Man’s best research partner
A dog’s ability to smell is believed to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times better than humans. The right dog can be trained to track anything that emits an odour whether it’s flora, fauna, on land, or even under the sea!
Because they can smell what we can’t see, dogs are used in conservation to track rare animals, detect pest species, and locate threatened native plants.
Sniffing out solutions
Our aim is to find new ways to use detection dogs to protect Australia’s biodiversity and provide immediate benefits to the community like stopping the spread of cane toads, and protecting koala populations. Our work is grounded in research and focused on producing effective results, which is why it’s run as not-for-profit from within a university.
Make a donation via USC's Payment Gateway.
100% of your donation will go towards the Detection Dogs for Conservation, and any donations over A$2 are tax deductible.
For more information on donating to this project contact: Kate Evans, Senior Development Manager, USC Development Office.
Give a dog a bone, a home, and a career
The best conservation dogs often make the worst pets. They have boundless energy, need lots of exercise and are more than a little obsessed with the ball – but these ‘flaws’ are exactly why they make the perfect conservation dog. We use the ball as a reward to keep dogs focused and eliminate distractions, so they don’t chase or disrupt other wildlife while they’re out in the field. They love to work and will do anything for their beloved ball!
The DDC assesses dogs from shelters until they find one with the right temperament to become a conservation dog. With Maya now successfully trained and working in the field, we have big plans to expand but need your help to make this happen.
Your donation will help rescue a dog from a shelter and give him or her a happy working life in conservation to the benefit of our environment and community.
Dr Jan Aldenhoven
"Get behind this great initiative! Detection Dogs really make a difference for conservation." - Wildlife Documentary maker, Emmy and Logie awards winner, Author of Kangaroos – Faces in the Mob.
Detection Dogs for Conservation latest news
12 October 2017
USC academics lead establishment of conservation dog network
Two USC academics have been instrumental in establishing an Australian-first network of organisations that use dogs for environmental work.
9 May 2017
New PhD students to receive Rotary scholarships
Three USC researchers studying consumer services, koala conservation and bee resin will tomorrow receive the annual 2017 Rotary Postgraduate Scholarships.
9 August 2016
WA’s Shark Bay dolphin samples analysed at USC
Researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast and America’s Georgetown University have returned to USC’s Sippy Downs campus to analyse tissue samples taken during exciting fieldwork with bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Western Australia.
26 May 2016
Festival to feature exciting USC research presentations
Disappearing islands, cutting-edge koala vaccines and sustainable surfboards will be among the topics discussed by eight University of the Sunshine Coast researchers at the Sunshine Coast World Environment Day Festival on Sunday 5 June.
15 March 2016
Business gives big bikkies to Detection Dogs
The clever canines who staff USC’s Detection Dogs for Conservation program will soon be enjoying their work even more, thanks to a donation of delicious dog treats from Sunshine Coast-based business Huds and Toke.
24 November 2014
USC hires clever canine for koala ecology research
USC has just hired its first four-legged employee — Maya, Australia’s only koala poo (scat) detection dog, will work alongside USC academics on koala research and conservation projects and will be used to help teach the new Bachelor of Animal Ecology degree.