Using dogs to search for bats and birds

A more effective way to conduct carcass searches

Detection of fatalities is very important in determining the impacts caused. Bioinsight team is certified by the Special Unit of the Portuguese Public Police (K9 unit of UEP-PSP) to train detection dogs applied to ecological studies, namely to detect bird and bat carcasses.

We have  conducted carcass searches with a human (ecologist) and dog team in several projects, achieving a higher accuracy regarding fatality estimates and therefore being able to present impact evaluations closer to reality.

This method has been extensively tested and is now proved to be more efficient than using human observers to detect carcass searches.

    Impact Assessments

Facts and Figures

Search accuracy

While a human and dog team detects  96%  of the existing carcasses in a given area, human observers are only able to detect  9%  of them .

Detection efficiency

Dogs are not affected by the decomposition state of the carcass - it does not affect the time spent during searches.

See more in: Paula, J., Leal, M.C., Silva, M.J., Mascarenhas, R., Costa, H. & Mascarenhas, M. (2011) Dogs as a tool to improve bird-strike mortality estimates at wind farms. Journal for Nature Conservation, 19, 202–208.