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I Smell Poop

Scat Detection DogSome dogs lead the blind, others sniff out drugs or explosives. Wicket’s specialty is poop: grizzly, black bear, cougar and wolf. A specially trained scat-detection dog, Wicket is conducting science in a whole new way. She and a growing team of dogs like her are making significant contributions to conservation efforts in the West and around the globe.

The picture is Wicket surrounded by bags of bear scat scientists will use to help track bear populations in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley.

With the DNA extracted from the scat Wicket finds, scientists can identify species and sex, and potentially determine population size, home range, paternity and kinship. The analysis of endocrine extracted from scat can even determine the reproductive status of the animals

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