Conservation K9 Needs a GPS Collar

Qana is a 3 year-old Belgian Malinois, full of energy and absolutely loves to work for her toy! We got her as a puppy and we had no idea what an "adventure" a Malinois would be as we were first-time dog owners in addition to having a young child, and even though there were times we almost gave up on her, we stuck it out, and now Qana is an awesome dog!

Fast forward to this day, Qana is a volunteer conservation K9, currently sniffing out C.odorata (aka Devil Weed), a highly invasive plant in Hawaii. Qana has already located dozens if not hundreds of plants, including ones that are 17 meters (50 feet) away from the trail that are not visible to the human eye!  As an environmental scientist, I am so grateful for having Qana as my partner! We may not be saving lives or curing cancer but together we are striving to restore the aina, one invasive plant at a time!

To conduct her work safely, Qana needs a GPS collar.  We would appreciate any help you can provide.  Donating even $10 would help,  and sharing our story and campaign with your friends will make an impact!

Below is some information on the GPS collar that, with your help, we would like to purchase for Qana:

* Safety - Devil weed detection is more effective when the dog is off leash, due to the vegetation and other obstacles that the dog needs to navigate around in order to find the target. Because dogs follow their sense of smell, they are not always aware of their surroundings and potential environmental dangers, such as cliffs and ditches. While we as dog handlers do our best to keep our dogs safe, there is always some risk involved with field work. If the dog goes out of sight of the handler, the GPS tools will allow the handler to know that the dog is safe and navigating back to her/him. If the dog has an accident or injury and becomes immobile, the GPS tools will allow the dog handler to navigate to the dog. The GPS tools provide a big layer of security for dog-handler teams that work the dogs off leash for maximum detection efficacy.

* Data Collection - The Garmin Astro 430 package comes with a handheld device for the dog handler, and a collar for the dog. This allows for the recording and reviewing of dog tracks, human tracks and waypoints, which mark targets as well as locations where the dog showed interest (changes of behavior that indicate the potential presence of the target). Over time, waypoints of detected targets and areas of interest allow us and our collaborating agency OISC to analyze trends and patterns in the presence and spread of devil weed. Dog tracks provide data on detection distances, i.e. distance between initial detection, or odor recognition, and actual target. The historical data will help us plan future search strategies, especially in new survey areas such as Kahuku Motocross Tracks.
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