Monitoring Invasive and Threatened Aquatic Amphibians, Mammals, and Birds

  • Jim Shields
  • Lana M. Austin


Native aquatic wildlife species are declining within their natural range worldwide. Simultaneously, invasive species now dominate many aquatic landscapes in most parts of the world. Both groups require effective and accurate monitoring to guide management actions. This chapter offers background information on the issues surrounding monitoring of threatened and invasive species in aquatic environments—with a focus on amphibians, otters, American mink, muskrats, nutria, waterfowl, and other aquatic birds. Present-day human and passive monitoring techniques are reviewed in regard to efficacy, accuracy, and resource intensity. Current and potential applications of detection dogs for these aquatic wildlife groups, as either stand-alone or supplementary monitoring techniques, are considered. Examples of known related uses of dogs are provided, and potential future applications for detection dogs are highlighted.


Dog Detection Otter American mink Scat detection Amphibian declines Cryptic species Muskrat Nutria Waterfowl Bittern Track detection Invasive Aquatic invasive species (AIS) Endangered 


Water is fun. You can play in it, drink it, swim in it.

Alonah Warrior, age 11


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Shields
    • 1
  • Lana M. Austin
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian Ecosystems Foundation Inc.New South WalesAustralia
  2. 2.K-9 ConservationConservation Volunteers AustraliaBallaratAustralia

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