You might have heard about guide dogs, companion dogs and even explosive and narcotics sniffer dogs. But have you ever heard of the Conservation Canines?

The Conservation Canines programme modified the detection methods used by narcotics sniffer dogs to train dogs to find evidence of endangered or threatened species… specifically, their excrement.

The project writes: “Scat (excrement) detection dogs are able to locate samples from multiple species simultaneously across large, remote areas repeatedly over time. Sampling with detection dogs also tends to be far less biased compared to traditional wildlife detection methods (remote cameras, radio-collaring, hair snags, and trapping). No other method can acquire such a vast amount of reliable information in so short a time, making this approach incredibly valuable for conservation planners and land managers.”

Established in 1997 by Dr Samuel Wasser at the University of Washington, the dogs have worked with land- and sea-dwelling species alike.

To top it all, these dogs are not just any dogs: they are rescued from shelters. Overly energetic dogs that would make terrible pets for many owners are the ones most suited to this job. Why? Because they are willing to work all day for the simple reward of playtime. Watch the video above to find out more about what Conservation Canines do. Watch the video below to see which shelter dogs become part of the team, and how you could help.

Check out their Facebook page for more information and project.

Source: Conservation Canines

Images and video credit: Conservation Canines, University of Washington