Pet dogs trained to detect invasive species in Hawaii's forests
The fight to save endangered species in Hawaii is gaining more ammunition. Non profit organization, Conservation Dogs of Hawaii is training pet dogs to detect invasive species in the wild.
The fight to save endangered species in Hawaii is gaining more ammunition.
Non profit organization, Conservation Dogs of Hawaii is training pet dogs to detect invasive species in the wild.
The organization is working on partnering with the state to help with preservation efforts in Hawaii's forests.
The group's dogs are highly trained to sniff out devil weed. The toxic pest is choking out areas in Kahana Valley, Pupukea and 'Aiea.
Group founder Kyoko Johnson says any breed can be taught to sniff out invasives.
"Every dog has a good nose. They can be taught to sniff anything out. The type of dog that might be good at doing fieldwork might be one that has a lot of drive they want to work for their reward whether it's a ball or food," said Johnson.
The furry pets are also trained to search vehicles too that can easily transport seeds caught on tires. One of the group's dogs can also target invasive snails. That skill can be key because the cannibal Rosy Wolfsnail are a major threat to endangered Hawaiian tree snails.
"That's the goal is to get them to be a horse with blinders so that is all that they want.They ignore everything else," said Johnson.
Glen and Kimberly Tengan's pooch Noni is the newest to the bunch. Kimberly says the training helps to keep Noni sharp.
"I think it's very good for the dogs mental stimulation. You know when dogs get older it's like humans they go through memory problems...dementia. She is more aware of her sense of smell and sensing," Tengan said.
The organization is raising money to fund its dog training program. For more information, click here.