Validation and Development of a Certification Program for Using K9s to Survey Desert Tortoises
Final rept. 1 Mar 2005-31 Jul 2011
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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This project demonstrated the ability of Desert Tortoise Canine DTK9 teams to locate Mojave Desert Tortoises in the field at natural population densities, with an emphasis on finding small size classes. DTK9s were shown to be successful at this task. Performance objectives were evaluated in each of two phases conducted in southern Nevada Phase I was the training and testing phase at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center DTCC and Phase II was the field demonstration at Piute Valley. The objective of Phase I was to demonstrate that DTK9 teams can pass a testing regime that assesses their capability at finding tortoises under both high and low tortoise density scenarios with tortoise safety maintained throughout. Phase II demonstrated that teams deemed qualified to conduct field searches for tortoises based on meeting Phase I testing criteria performed similarly in the field, while those teams that failed to meet the testing criteria did not perform to standard in the field. Performance objectives were met and in some cases performance exceeded the criteria.
- Environmental Health and Safety