Holly may be New Zealand’s only conservation frog dog but she has many strings to her bow!
Holly is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever specialising in sniffing out New Zealand native frogs. She started her frog detection training in 2019 and is only one of a few dogs in the entire world to learn how to find frogs by scent! The other frog dogs work overseas as a part of the Amphibian Research K9 team in the United States and at Zoos Victoria in Melbourne.
After going on a trip with DOC to Fiordland, the late Emeritus Professor Phil Bishop was convinced that native frogs may still exist there. Perhaps the “extinct” Aurora frog was actually hiding in remote regions of Fiordland, and a dog like Holly might one day re-discover.
Holly was trained using the native frogs at the University of Otago, Zoology Department. Debbie is hugely grateful for this because COVID-19 and subsequent cyclones and flooding in the North Island of New Zealand could have easily derailed Holly’s progress. Holly was a quick learner and, with the help of a MSc student Tegan Murrell, Debbie began to challenge Holly’s detection skills by introducing new scents like leaf litter, worms and feathers.
Holly worked incredibly hard with her trainer Debbie Bishop and graduated from the Department of Conservation’s Conservation Dogs Programme. Here on Holly’s Frog Dog Page we hope to post updates on Holly’s adventures helping in frog conservation and other activities. Check back here soon to see what Holly has gotten up to with Debbie.
You can read more about the Air New Zealand and Department of Conservation – Conservation Dogs Programme here
Many thanks, appreciation and gratitude to people and organisations who have contributed to making this a reality.
Holly’s Latest Adventures
Click on the story to read more
Holly- Glynfyre Awesome Amber was born in Wellington in February of 2018
Puppy class graduation
Holly’s first Christmas
Preparations started to join the frog team
Holly Passed DOC interim test
Holly passed her Interim Certification for the Department of Conservation Conservation Dogs Programme/Species dogs in Timaru
First time training with live captive breed Archey’s frogs
Holly’s first wild frog find
Holly’s first wild Archey’s frog find at Mahakirau Forest Estate in the Coromandel with Phil Bishop and Sara Smerdon
Annie Robertson from the University of Otago SciComm Department produced a 90 Second film of Holly’s story for her assignment. In August 2021, permission was given to Auckland Zoo to use the film on their website as part of the granting of the Conservation Fund to Tegan Murrell.
Holly registered with St Johns
Therapy Pets to give back for all the help they gave during Phil’s illness.
Second Mahakirau visit
Holly’s second field trip to Mahakirau to do field training with wild Archey’s frogs
Holly obtained her first Kiwi avoidance training certificate
Holly achieved her DOC Conservation Dogs Programme full certification in Dunedin
This is Timeline description, you can change me anytime click here
Holly obtained her second Kiwi avoidance training certificate
Holly’s third field trip
Holly headed to Maud Island to do field training on Hamilton’s frogs