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Conservation Detection Dog Workshop

Image: Doug Gimesy

Skylos Ecology is proud to present, in partnership with Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, a five-day conservation detection dog workshop featuring internationally renowned conservation detection dog trainers and handlers:

 

- Dr Megan Parker (Center for Large Landscape Conservation),

- Louise Wilson (Conservation K9 Consultancy), and

- Nikki Glover (Amphibian and Reptile Detection Dogs).

 

This workshop has been designed to cater to both novice and experienced conservation detection dog handlers who are looking to learn and further improve their conservation detection dog training.

Read more about the workshop below...

Novice Workshop
Thursday 11 - Friday 12 August 2022

Held over two days, this workshop is aimed from those new to the conservation detection dog field who are hoping to learn the basics with their dog. Introductory training sessions will focus on:

 

  • target odour selection.

  • reward selection and motivation.

  • building drive.

  • reading body language.

  • scent imprinting.

  • scent recognition.

  • scent discrimination.

  • storage and handling of scents.

 

A focus on specific conservation dog training requirements, will also been taught, including:

 

  • introduction to conservation detection dog teams.

  • scent theory in the natural environment.

  • field safety.

 

This workshop will be led by Louise Wilson, with assistance from Nikki Glover.  Skylos Ecology handlers Fiona Jackson and Tracy Lyten will also be presenting and demonstrating at this workshop.  Guest speaker Annette Rypalski from Mt Rothwell will also be presenting at the Novice workshop. 

 

Training odour

 

Please note for the Novice workshop, no wildlife odours will be used. Novice dogs and handlers will be trained on truffle oil.

Advanced Workshop
Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 August 2022


Held over two days, this workshop is designed for those who already have a basic understanding of conservation detection dog training and have undertaken scent training with their dog.  Training sessions will focus on:

 

  • introduction to conservation detection dog teams.

  • target odour selection.

  • storage and handling of scents.

  • scent theory in the natural environment.

  • environmental factors when searching in the natural environment.

  • small and large area search strategies.

  • project planning.

  • Australia-specific conservation detection dog considerations.

  • safety and welfare training considerations (emergency stop, recall, wait, animal interaction training).

  • the use of GPS technology.

  • managing a search.

 

This workshop will be led by Dr Megan Parker and Louise Wilson, with assistance from Nikki Glover.  Skylos Ecology handlers Fiona Jackson and Tracy Lyten will also be presenting and demonstrating at this workshop.  Guest speaker Annette Rypalski from Mt Rothwell will also be presenting at the Advanced workshop. 

 

Training odour

 

Advanced participants may train on truffle oil.  If your dog is already trained on a wildlife odour and/or you would like to train your dog on a wildlife odour during the workshop, this will need to be approved prior to attending.  Please stipulate which odour you would like to train on in the Expression of Interest form.  Dog and handler experience will be taken into consideration when determining a training odour for the workshop. Participants will need to supply and store their own odour if not training on truffle oil. 

 

One-on-one Sessions
Monday 15 August 2022

In addition, we will also be offering bespoke one-on-one sessions.

 

One-on-one sessions will give a participant individual time with a trainer to focus on specific training and/or project outcomes with their dog(s).  One-on-one sessions will be two hours long.  Louise and Megan with the support of Australian-based trainers Fiona and Tracy, will work with students to trouble shoot any issues they might be having with their conservation dog training, or assist in the development of a potential project the student is keen to explore with their dog. 

 

Training odour

 

One-on-one participants may also train on truffle oil.  If your dog is already trained on a wildlife odour and/or would like to train your dog on a wildlife odour during the workshop, this will need to be approved prior to attending.  Please stipulate which odour you would like to train on in the Expression of Interest form.  Participants will need to supply and store their own odour if not training on truffle oil.

Meet the Trainers

 

Image: Dave Hamman

Image: Louise Wilson

Image: Nikki Glover

Dr Megan Parker
Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Dr Parker is a pioneer in the conservation dog field, having co-founded Working Dogs for Conservation (www.wd4c.org), where she led research to develop training and deploying dogs to detect endangered and invasive species, illegally trafficked wildlife and non-invasively identify individual animals with zoonotic disease.  She worked on conservation projects with dogs in Africa, Asia and North, Central and South America. She’ll be joining us in Australia to run the advanced and one-on-one workshops.

 

Megan is now Conservation Project Director at the Center for Large Landscape Conservation.

 

Megan is also one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Australasian Conservation Dog Network conference in Canberra.

Louise Wilson
Conservation K9 Consultancy

We are delighted to welcome Louise Wilson (Conservation K9 Consultancy) from the United Kingdom (UK).  Louise has been training dog and handlers for over 20 years in the UK and is the Founder of Conservation K9 Consultancy, the first standalone freelance consultancy in the UK to train dogs specifically for wildlife detection, logistical support, mentoring and training.

 

Louise has travelled the world with her training techniques and worked in some amazing places – South Africa, Gabon, Tanzania, Mozambique, Montana. She’ll be joining us in Australia to run the novice, advanced and one-on-one workshops.

 

Louise will be talking at this year’s Australasian Conservation Dog Network conference in Canberra after the workshop.

Nikki Glover
Amphibian and Reptile Detection Dogs

Nikki Glover is an ecologist and great crested newt detection dog handler based in the UK and is studying a PhD at the University of Salford looking into the effectiveness of great crested newt detection dogs. Trained through Conservation K9 Consultancy, Nikki will be assisting Louise during the novice workshop.  Nikki is a conservation detection dog great crested newt specialist and works with her three detection dogs: Freya, Newky and Obi. Nikki offers one-to-one training and workshops for those wanting to learn more about amphibian detection.  

 

Nikki is currently co-authoring Conservation Detection Dog Guidelines for the United Kingdom with Louise Wilson and Willow West.

 

Nikki will be talking at this year’s Australasian Conservation Dog Network conference in Canberra after the workshop.

 

Workshop Details

Location

 

Skylos Ecology is very excited to facilitate this event at a remarkable location on the Wurundjeri homelands, just outside of Melbourne. Mount Rothwell is the largest feral predator-free ecosystem in Victoria where you can see some of Australia’s most threatened fauna, including the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and Eastern Quoll. Mount Rothwell was established for the management of high conservation value species breeding and research programs. The centre has a focus on Victorian species with a particular emphasis on species indigenous to the basalt plains grasslands, habitats and woodlands.

 

www.mtrothwell.com.au

Dates

 

Novice Workshop 11 – 12 August 2022

 

Advanced Workshop: 13 – 14 August 2022

 

One-on-one Day: 15 August 2022

Spaces

8 spaces are available for Dog Teams (one dog, one handler) at both the novice and advanced workshops.

4 spaces are available for Dog Teams (one dog, one handler) at the one-on-one sessions.

16 Observer (no participating dog) tickets are available for both the novice and advanced workshops.

Prices  

 

Novice Workshop (2 days): $800

Advanced Workshop (2 days): $800

One-on-one (2 hours): $300

Observer at Novice workshop (2 days): $400

Observer at Advanced workshop (2 days): $400

Skylos Ecology wants to make this workshop as accessible as possible. We are happy to discuss financial support options for those who need it.

Refunds

Full refunds are available 14 days prior to the workshop. No refunds are available less than 14 days to the workshop.

Accommodation

 

Participants will be required to find their own accommodation during the course. Mt Rothwell is in close proximately to both Geelong and Melbourne.

Expression of interest and ticket sale dates

 

Expressions of interest are now open. To submit your expression of interest, click here.  EOI will close 31 May 2022. 

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Expression of Interest

Please note, attendance at this event is very limited.  As such, an expression of interest (EOI) is required.  All trainers will assess each EOI to determine if an applicant is successful in gaining a spot in the workshop.  EOI will be assessed based on:

 

  • Safety: it is paramount all dogs in attendance are well-mannered, vaccinated and under the control of their owner at all times. Mount Rothwell houses some of Australia’s most endangered species. The safety of all attendees, their dogs and the wildlife that resides at Mount Rothwell will be considered first and foremost.

 

  • Suitability of the dog: beyond the safety requirements of each participating dog, it is also a requirement to demonstrate the dog is physically able to participant in training and has a drive to learn.

 

  • Genuine interest in conservation dogs: does the candidate demonstrate a passion for the conservation dog field? Both the novice and advanced workshops are designed for those who have a genuine interest in the field of conservation detection dogs.  Participants that demonstrate this will be prioritised. 

 

  • Previous experience: please note this will be assessed both at a novice and advanced level.

 

 

Expressions of Interest are now closed.

 

If you have any questions about the workshop, please email us at contact@skylosecology.com

Once again, we are thrilled to be able to host such a special event and really look forward to welcoming participants, and their dogs, to such a unique location and workshop. 

 

Thanks,

 

Fiona and Tracy.

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Training & Mentoring

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Skylos Ecology is currently developing conservation dog training and handler mentoring products. We've been hard at work ensuring a high standard of training will be on offer to those who wish to develop their conservation detection dog skills further.

Our products and services will be aimed at both novice and experienced handlers, as well small businesses. 

Skylos Ecology will be announcing more later in 2022.

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