the super sniffers standing up to wildlife crime
Meet the four-legged recruits doing their bit in the fight against wildlife crime …
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, capable of picking up the tiniest traces of illicit wildlife products in shipping containers, airports, and in the field. As part of our work developing new technologies and approaches to fighting illegal wildlife trade, we’re working with WWF and authorities in India, Kenya, and beyond to harness the incredible potential of wildlife sniffer dogs.
66 sniffer squads
have been trained so far in India alone
instinct-driven solutions, such as through using sniffer dogs, are often an impactful and cost-effective wildlife conservation approachRobin Sawyer, TRAFFIC Programme Officer
sniffing out the smugglers
Wildlife detector dogs are proving invaluable in the fight against wildlife crime, and are already being used in a variety of ways.
From anti-poaching units helping rangers in National Parks in Africa and India, to tracking wildlife contraband in airports, highly-trained sniffer squads are helping to stop poachers and traffickers in their tracks.
sniffer dog deployment and training
66 "Super Sniffer" dog squads have been deployed across India and are now in active duty doing their bit for wildlife.
The first phase of training begins when dogs are aged between six and nine months. The dogs are allotted to their personal handlers where they bond and build a trusting and close relationship. Strategic exercises cement this bond, teaching the recruits how to navigate intense situations and respond to specific instructions.
In the second phase of training the dogs begin to learn skills in how to detect wildlife crime situations, including how to identify illicit products and apprehend poachers in the act. The final stage of training further develops these skills and sees them investigate wildlife crime scenes where they are rewarded for successful work. At this point, the dogs are ready to enter the field and work to fight wildlife crime!