Detection dogs for non invasive monitoring

Published 12th Feb 19 12:00 AM by SEQ Division


Monday 11 March 2019


5.30pm to 8pm (includes networking from 7.15pm to 8pm)

With advances in technology, there are many ways to undertake non invasive monitoring. In 2017, EIANZ explored the use of drones in this field, however you can’t always see what you need to from the air.

This year we will be highlighting the work of detection dogs and investigating monitoring from the ground up.

In order to minimise bias, minimise false negative rates, cover large amounts of ground and find a maximum amount of Koala genetic material (sourced from scats), in the field they use the powerful tool that is professional conservation detection dogs. Their Working English Springer Spaniels are purpose-bred for field detection work, and cover 15km per day on average (and upward of 20km) with 100% accuracy. The genetic material found by the dogs is carefully collected then submitted to a specialist laboratory for a range of analyses. Combining detection dogs and non-invasive genetic sampling & analysis is a proven powerful combination that results in vast amounts of spatial information and empirical data (lab results) gathered in short amounts of time with limited budgets, and directly enables effective. We will include video footage of what happens out on site.

Morgan Thomas will also join us to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using conservation detection dogs (CDD), in the context of his research (honours project) which aimed to compare detection methods and involved both invasive and non-invasive methods. He will also be focussing on detection dog results primarily, as they highlight the effectiveness of conservation detection dogs when compared to other detection methods. Morgan was able to locate the target endangered species in the Border Ranges National Park with the CDD but were not able to locate it using the other two detection methods, after not having sighted/captured it in over 30 years using traditional detection methods.

Information on the speakers

Olivia Woosnam

OIivia has been in the environmental sector for over 10 years. Her core academic qualifications are in politics, environmental policy and management. She started her environmental career at the United Nations Environment Program. Subsequently, she chose to specialise in ecology to gain hands-on experience in biodiversity conservation. Her area of ecological expertise is Koalas: Koala habitat assessment, conservation and management, and the development and evaluation of Koala survey methods & techniques. Together with Alex, she now undertakes state-of-the-art Koala population studies with professionally trained certified Koala detection dogs, with Federation University analysing Koala scats for DNA and disease. She has a very good understanding of the Planning & Environment regulatory framework in Australia, and has experience acting as a Koala Ecology Expert Witness to the P&E Court. (OWAD Environment's conservation dogs were the first in Australia to provide Expert Witness evidence to the Court.)

Morgan Thomas

Morgan Thomas is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) majoring in Biology, minoring in Wildlife and Environmental Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology (2017). He has a burning passion for ecology and conservation and has been involved in a variety of projects involving flora and fauna throughout his undergraduate degree, which reflect this passion. Morgan’s honours project involved the comparison of two detection methods (Elliott-traps and white flash camera traps) to determine their effectiveness at locating an endangered species within the Tweed Volcano caldera, and a preliminary survey determining the effectiveness of a conservation detection dog.

This event will count as 3 points towards your EIANZ CEnvP Professional Development Log.

Do you pay your own registration costs to attend? Don't forget to keep your invoice as you may be eligible to claim your education expenses on your tax return.

Cancellation Policy

Full refunds will be given for any cancellations made one week prior to the forum. Cancellations made less than one week but more than 24 hours prior to the forum will attract a 50% penalty. Cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to forum will attract the full 100% attendance fee. Delegates unable to attend are welcome to send an alternative delegate.

Event details

When: 11 Mar 2019
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Where: Qld Law Society
179 Ann Street
Brisbane Q 4000

Cost: $95 non members, $75 Members, $30 Concession

Registrations Open: 12th Feb 19 8:00 AM

Registrations Close: 11th Mar 19 4:00 PM

Places Available: 31

Contact: Danielle Bolton, SEQ Secretariat at, 07 5429 8480.

Register now and secure your attendance

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Published 12th Feb 19 12:00 AM by SEQ Division