Man and Earth’s Best Friend

By: Shani Lewis  |  February 11, 2021

Shani Lewis, VP of Environmental Issues YU Democrats 

Everyone knows that a dog is man’s best friend, but did you know that a dog is also Earth’s best friend? Dogs have an enhanced ability of smell, in fact, their sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than a humans. 

Wildlife conservationists use dogs to help track down dangerous wildlife. Jaymi Heimbuch, a specialist in wildlife conservation, wrote that dogs are able to “[sniff] out invasive species like giant snails in the Galapagos or [detect] disease in beehives, dogs’ noses can be put to work in searching out what shouldn’t be there so that humans can act. Dogs are able to sniff out particular plant species, pointing ecologists to tiny patches of invasive mustard so that the plants can be removed before they take over an area.”

This is a tremendous aid to wildlife conservationists who, according to Heimbuch, are only able to identify dangerous species of plants by sight when they are in full bloom. Which is ultimately too late since most plants once they are fully bloomed will spread their deadly nature to the wildlife around them. In addition to finding dangerous plants in wildlife, dogs are also able to sniff out endangered species, helping conservationists find and protect these species. 

According to CNN, the dogs are trained to identify the endangered species from their feces. Many species have been saved, such as the San Joaquin kit fox, gray wolves, cougars, bobcats, moose, river otters, American minks, black-footed ferrets and even the North Atlantic right whale. With the help of dogs, conservationists around the world have been able to eliminate dangers to nature and protect wildlife that is endangered. Who knew man’s best friend would also be a friend to Earth? 

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