Help Wanted: Whale Poop Sniffers (Will Train)


You already know that dogs have an amazing ability to sniff out everything from explosives to an oncoming seizure in a human companion. But did you know that some dogs are trained to detect the odor of whale excrement as well as that of other endangered animals? The fecal samples give scientists trying to protect wild animals information on their diets, genetics, environmental toxins, fecal hormones that indicate stress, and other indicators of health status.

Staff at the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology have trained dogs to detect the scat of more than 13 species, including not just whales but also spotted owls, Iberian wolves, caribou, and tigers.



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