In a bid to protect the vulnerable species, Logan City Council enlisted the help of the keen-nosed hound to help detect koalas.

Maya is owned by Dr Cristescu, an ecologist who specialises in koala research.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life looking for animal poo, specifically koala poo,” Dr Cristescu said.

“The reason we look for koala poo is because it tells us where they live – the koala habitat. But it’s really inefficient for us humans to look for koala poo, because we rely on our eyesight, so it takes a lot of time to look for really small koala poo in a really big habitat.

“There are detection dogs for everything from drugs to border security – so why not a koala poo dog?”

It was Maya’s overly-enthusiastic love for playing fetch that caused Dr Cristescu to pick her out from the pound and train her as a sniffer dog.

She will search for evidence of koalas across an area of almost 500 hectares of bushland, over a period of two weeks.

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