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Dogs Trained to Smell Scat Are Aiding Wolf Research in Washington

How Poop Sniffing Dogs Are Aiding Wolf Research In Washington
Spokesman Review

Scientists in Washington are using dogs to assist with wolf research by searching for scat. Read on to find out just what scientists are learning from these dogs.

Researchers are using trained dogs rescued from animal shelters to locate scat from specific species as part of an ongoing wolf research project in northeast Washington.

After locating animal scat using their trained dogs, scientists collect and study the scat, which can provide a wealth of information ranging from what the animals are eating to the health of that animal. It also helps scientists piece together data about the overall animal population in that area.

Specifically, the research project is attempting to measure how wolves are impacting the environment in Washington as they return to areas that have dramatically changed since wolves last lived there nearly a century ago. For instance, there are many more people, whitetail deer, moose, and (potentially) coyotes in this area than there were when wolves last lived there.

Data gained using the scat-sniffing dogs will help provide insight on how the populations of other animals are reacting to the presence of wolves by yielding data on diet, the number of females that are breeding, and how population densities of various different animals change with varying wolf population densities.

There are many opinions on how wolves affect other animal populations, but studying the scat in the woods will hopefully provide some concrete data that will enable wildlife officials to make good decisions regarding game management in Washington.

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Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams at The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigGameHunt.

Dogs Trained to Smell Scat Are Aiding Wolf Research in Washington