You've no doubt heard of sniffer dogs that root out drugs and bombs. There are dogs who track survivors in collapsed buildings and even dogs that can detect cancer.
But I'll bet you've never heard "conservation dogs."
These are canines trained to track scat - that is, follow the fecal matter left behind by endangered species. The San Jose Mercury News has a fascinating story on Working Dogs for Conservation, a nonprofit group that trains team of nine highly sensitive dogs - among them Belgian Malinois, border collies and other breeds,some saved from shelters - to find endangered foxes in San Joaquin Valley or gorillas in Cameroon.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is using dogs to uncover illegally trafficed animal parts such as ivory.
Read more here.
Photo/Li Po Ching/San Jose Mercury News