Detection Dogs for Conservation

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Detection Dogs for Conservation


Man’s best research partner

A dog’s ability to smell is believed to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times better than a human's. The right dog can be trained to track anything that emits an odour, whether it’s flora or 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.

Meet Bear: Saving koalas from bushfires

How detection dogs work to locate injured wildlife

Learn more
Maya - Koala ecology researcher
Meet Maya: From shelter dog to ecology researcher

The four-legged researcher helping to track koala habitat

Learn more

Donate now

Make a donation via USC's Payment Gateway.

100 percent 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! 

At Detection Dogs for Conservation, we assess dogs from shelters until we find one with the right temperament to become a conservation dog. With five dogs now successfully trained and working in the field, we have big plans to expand – but we 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.

Follow Detection Dogs for Conservation on:


Koala Action Inc

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