Showing off their sleuthing skills to Hawaiian mates!

Publish Date : 27 Feb 2024
Ac Dog Team
l-r: Kayla Rench, Marty & Pipi Lisa Kamae & Kyoko Johnson, Conservation Dogs of Hawaii Rochelle Prosser, Jamie & Rosie

They’re smart, they’re nimble, they’re superstars and with good reason! They’re good at what they do.

That’s why Auckland Council’s biosecurity dog team is demonstrating their skills to their Hawaiian counterparts.

Kyoko Johnson and Lisa Kamae from Conservation Dogs of Hawaii are in the country to see how our biosecurity handlers and dogs work in their efforts to protect the islands in the Hauraki Gulf from pests.

“You are an island ecosystem like Hawaii, have similar pest control issues and endangered and protected species.

“We want to learn from the best. Not just the dog programme but conservation in general. Everyone in Hawaii conservation circles admires New Zealand conservation,” adds Kyoko.

Lisa Kamae is particularly interested in the conservation dog training because it's not just a cookie cutter recipe for everyone, New Zealand is known as being more innovative, creative, and customized.

“You take advantage of breed specific tendencies and traits, and we’re keen to see different dogs and handlers with different targets, applications & environments,” adds Lisa.

Miriam Ritchie an independent conservation dog handler has worked with the Hawaiian team and last year gifted a pup to the team to train as a rodent detection dog for biosecurity and potentially remote island work.

While here the team observed our pest detection dogs working ferries heading out into the gulf and enjoyed a more leisurely stroll on Auckland’s waterfront as part of a public education programme.

The team took in the Huia training facility and watched our dogs go through their paces on their various targets.

Our team performed immaculately for the visitors and encouraged them to facilitate the wider use of conservation dogs in the Hawaiian Islands.

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