Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Our Pine Martens to Help Find Wild Pine Martens
A couple of weeks ago I was asked if we could help in the surveying of wild pine martens in the UK, the request was for several pine marten scats to be sent to a Miss Louise Wilson at Wagtail UK Limited. Of course, we always try and help where we can, but it was not until I had contacted Louise a couple of times that I understood what the scats where to be used for.
Wagtail Limited is a company that trains and handles detection dogs. Although mainly still used by the police, immigration & customs and the Ministry of Defence the use of dogs as a surveying tool, locating scats of a particular species, is a new theory in the UK and Europe, but has proved very successful already over in the US.
Louise, with the help of Luna above, is hoping that by training Luna to sniff out pine marten scats she can not only help the surveying techniques for these elusive animals in the UK, but also bring and show how effective this relatively new technique in conservation is to Britain.
Vincent Wildlife Trust is showing a keen interest in the progression of Luna's training, and I an sure they will be working closely together in the future to try and establish a far more accurate status of pine martens in Great Britain today.
This all sounds very exciting, and we will be sending of scats from all our individual pine martens to aid with her efforts. To find out more about the work carried out by Wagtail UK have a look at their website linked here. And the new Conservation Dogs site here.
We of course wish Louise and Luna the best of luck with their training and future work in pine marten conservation.