• The use of conservation detection dogs to protect and preserve our natural environment is becoming an ever more efficient and popular survey method worldwide. Dogs are currently being trained to detect a wide range of species from red Squirrels, invasive plant species and even aquatic freshwater cray fish to name just a few. This is all possible due to a dogs amazing olfactory system. Dogs are thought to have a sense of smell 100,000 times greater than that of a person which makes them the perfect weapon to sniff out species we wish to protect or remove to prevent causing harm.

    Here at MKO we are taking the first exciting steps into the world of conservation detection dogs. The current aim of the team is to detect bird and bat carcasses at wind farms sites across the country. Wind power is an important way to provide renewable energy and for Ireland to meet its carbon goals while also meeting rising energy demands. While intense bird and bat surveys are carried out prior to windfarm construction the question remains are there fatalities at these sites and how many? This is where the dogs come into play. Dogs are extremely efficient when trained correctly to discover these fatalities. To think the average size of a bat in Ireland in about the size of a €2 coin, now try looking for that around a turbine in thick vegetation! No problem for these dogs.

    Thanks to the work of Kryus Limited Canine Specialists, not only have MKO acquired two amazing dogs, the company has this week welcomed back two employees who have undergone an intense conservation detection dog handler training course in Belfast. This course accredited by LANTRA certifies our handlers Keith Costello and Cathal Bergin as competently trained conservation detection dog handlers. They join a small number of individuals who hold such a certation. Together with Taio, a highly energetic Springer Spaniel and Clay, a cuddle driven Red Labrador, our team are eager to get to work and drive the use of conservation detection dogs’ future.

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