Brucellosis Detection Project

LOCATION:  Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA

DOG:  Tia & Pepin

PURPOSE:  To provide a new tool for detecting disease in free-ranging wildlife populations

TARGET SCENTS:  Scat of ungulates infected with brucellosis

PARTNER/CLIENT:  The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

There is a long history of conflict surrounding land, livestock and wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The management of brucellosis, a bacteria carried by wildlife that can harm cattle, has often been particularly tense.

Because wildlife carriers often show no signs of illness, many range managers avoid all contact between livestock and wildlife. The result is that wildlife are removed from key habitats, while important grazing resources are made unavailable to livestock.

Conservation detection dogs could change that, by providing a fast, accurate, non-invasive way to test whether a wildlife population is carrying the disease. Canine field detection will assist livestock producers make informed decisions about where to graze their animals, and help wildlife managers focus their disease management practices (hazing, late season hunts, or searching for and removing aborted fetuses) on the areas that pose the highest risks to livestock.

We will begin by confirming dogs’ ability to discriminate infected scat in controlled settings, then move on to pilot surveys in the field. By giving an important new tool to land, livestock, and wildlife managers, dogs will make Greater Yellowstone an even better place for wildlife, cattle, and the people who look after this unparalleled ecosystem.  

the number of times dogs have been used to detect disease in wildlife, until now

0

There is a long history of conflict surrounding land, livestock and wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The management of brucellosis, a bacteria carried by wildlife that can harm cattle, has often been particularly tense.

Because wildlife carriers often show no signs of illness, many range managers avoid all contact between livestock and wildlife. The result is that wildlife are removed from key habitats, while important grazing resources are made unavailable to livestock.

Conservation detection dogs could change that, by providing a fast, accurate, non-invasive way to test whether a wildlife population is carrying the disease. Canine field detection will assist livestock producers make informed decisions about where to graze their animals, and help wildlife managers focus their disease management practices (hazing, late season hunts, or searching for and removing aborted fetuses) on the areas that pose the highest risks to livestock.

brucellosis detection 

project

We will begin by confirming dogs’ ability to discriminate infected scat in controlled settings, then move on to pilot surveys in the field. By giving an important new tool to land, livestock, and wildlife managers, dogs will make Greater Yellowstone an even better place for wildlife, cattle, and the people who look after this unparalleled ecosystem.  

We will begin by confirming dogs’ ability to discriminate infected scat in controlled settings, then move on to pilot surveys in the field. By giving an important new tool to land, livestock, and wildlife managers, dogs will make Greater Yellowstone an even better place for wildlife, cattle, and the people who look after this unparalleled ecosystem.