Trained dogs in the use of pangolin conservation

Over the past year I have been working alongside Ecology Dogs in the UK and Wildlife Reserves, Singapore on a project to use trained dogs to find pangolin scat.

The plan starts with a test phase in the UK, where it will be determined if there is a significant difference between the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in captive and wild scat samples and those from an artificial captive diet and a more natural captive diet. This will then be used to determine if captive scat can be used to train dogs to successfully find wild scat in the forest.

Following on from that dog will be sourced from the UK where it will be partly trained with the samples before being transferred over to Singapore where an individual will be selected and trained to work with the dog and where field testing will occur.

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The diet change of the captive pangolins at Singapore Night Safari was successfully completed and samples from captive animals were collected from the beginning of October 2016. This means we have samples of captive scat on two different diets.

A local UK zoo, Colchester Zoo, has formally agreed to supply discrimination scat from their captive ant eater as the diet it is provided is similar to the artificial diet used by institutions housing pangolin.

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We now await our final two wild scat samples that are being collected with the help of Wildlife Reserves themselves and Acres.

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About sundapangolin

I am a Conservation Biologist dedicated to increasing the understanding of and respect for the pangolin and their habitats and empowering people to take action to conserve them. I spent 18 months working as Field Adviser monitoring through radio tracking released and rehabilitated Sunda pangolin with the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program in Vietnam. Since then I have been working on pangolin conservation in Brunei and Sumatra.

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