Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Sniffer dogs sniff out koala poop in Australia

Brisbane ( Associated Press) — In Australia, dogs smell not only drugs, but koala feces too: With their fine noses, two dogs named Bear and Billie-Jean have tracked down dozens of piles of endangered marsupials in recent years .

Samples collected from areas of Queensland particularly affected by the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020 are being analyzed along with others to determine how natural disasters are affecting the health of koalas – and in the future How can cute animals be better protected?

The sleuth team from the University of the Sunshine Coast and the animal welfare organization IFAW announced that the koala’s inherited hormone levels and intestinal microbiome had been investigated. The results are expected in the coming year, said Romain Christescu, director of the Sniffer Dog team, a German press agency.

“Detection dogs can be trained in many ways and for many different scents or scents,” the expert explained. For example, police dogs search for drugs or money, while others are trained to sniff out wildlife trade products. “Our dogs, on the other hand, are trained to recognize the smell of koalas and quolls,” Christescu said. There are currently only a few dozen four-legged friends specializing in koalas, but the number will probably increase significantly soon.

IFAW researcher Wendy Simpson said studies on koala health are more important than ever after the Australian government officially upgraded koala status in February from vulnerable to endangered in three states. “Koalas are generally a very resilient species. They can take on a lot, but only up to a point.”

Notably, the fierce bushfires from August 2019 to March 2020 hit the furry marsupials hard. According to estimates by the environmental organization WWF, more than 60,000 koalas that are native only have been killed, injured, driven away or injured. Images of animals with ragged fur and burnt paws went around the world.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220530-99-479887/2

Nation World News Desk
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