Last year, the ANU Difficult Bird Research Group turned to crowdfunding so that Zorro the dog could help save one of Australia's most elusive bird species, the Tasmanian masked owl.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, Zorro is now a proud alumnus of the University of the Sunshine Coast's Conservation Detection Dog Program. Now an expert at sniffing out koala poo in Queensland, Zorro will apply these skills to tracking owl pellets on the Tasmanian forest floor.
"Masked owls are very hard to find using ordinary survey techniques so we had to get creative and find a new solution," said campaign lead Dr Dejan Stojanovic.
The crowdfunding campaign built on previous work by the group to protect the critically endangered swift parrot and orange-bellied parrot and managed to raise $63,842.
"With your support we've been to use these interesting and unusual techniques to protect some of Australia's most endangered birds."
Thanks to such tremendous donor generosity, Zorro is expected to deploy his heroic sniffing efforts in Tasmania by late 2019. You can read further on their research by visiting the group's website.