Non-Profit Highlighting National Conservation Dogs Day

(Wisconsin) Thursday is National Conservation Dogs Day. The day celebrates dogs helping advance conservation through scent detection of endangered, invasive, and elusive species.

It was started by the Conservation Dogs Collective, a non-profit organization that trains scent detection dogs to sniff out plants, animals, insects, and more to boost conservation efforts. The group is helping remove invasive species from the Black Earth Creek Fishery Area near Madison. Lindsey Cihla is program coordinator.

“It’s called a New Zealand mud snail and it is this teeny-tiny little snail that’s about the size of a grain of rice and its dark brown and its incredibly hard to see,” says Cihla. “Even though they’re very small…they’re causing a big stir because they can populate so quickly and they’re pretty much impossible to destroy. They can just go straight through a fish, they’re not nutritious at all. They have an amazing ability to survive and reproduce.”

Cihla says the New Zealand mud snails use up the resources that are necessary for the native species to live. She adds that it is possible that they could spread to other waterways in Wisconsin. Cihla says they train their dogs to sniff them out.

Organizers with the non-profit say in recognition of National Conservation Dogs Day, spend extra time with your own dog while playing scent games together.

Photo courtesy of the Conservation Dogs Collective website