Working Dogs for Conservation

Lauren Collier on Pet Life Radio

Our fabulous K-9's perform so many jobs, they are used in the Military, for Police work, as Seeing Eye dogs, as service animals... the list goes on and on...  but did you know they are also being used in Conservation? On today's episode of My Dog Digs Dirt I talk exclusively with Pete Coppolillo, Executive Director of Working Dogs for Conservation, a group that trains the world's best conservation detection dogs and puts them to work saving wildlife and wild places.


    Pete is trained as an ecologist and is a career conservationist. He came to the working dog world after seeing their efficiency and effectiveness in doing "traditional" conservation work. In 2010 he joined the Board of Working Dogs for Conservation, and in 2012 he became the Executive Director.  Before all that, Pete received a bachelor’s degree with honors in Biology and Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. Pete worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society for 10 years, first at their New York Headquarters and then as part of the Africa and North America Programs. Pete has studied Ferruginous Hawks in North America, avian community ecology in Kenya, and large herbivore ecology and herding systems in Tanzania. He has helped plan and carry out conservation strategies in Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Congo, Cambodia, Tanzania, and the United States. His publications appear in Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, PLOS (Public Library of Science), Human Ecology, Landscape and Urban Planning, Landscape Ecology, and Science, and he is co-author of the book Conservation: Linking Ecology, Economics and Culture (2005 Princeton Univ. Press).