The DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) wants residents to know what they have been doing this year to help local communities. One very special program (the only one in the Northeast) is a couple of extraordinary dogs who have been trained to locate invasive species.
Dia, a caramel colored labrador retriever, and Fagan, a Belgian Malamute, have been trained to locate such things as toxic lantern flies ,oak wilt, and scotch broom. Josh Beese, a New York-New Jersey Trail Conference program manager is the handler/trainer for both of these smart canines.
If you want to see a real treat, watch the video to see Fagan climbing a tree while sniffing for the eggs of a spotted lantern fly (https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2020/04/dogs-trained-detect-oak-wilt-invasive-species) . This moth-like insect will devastates apple orchards, vineyards, crops such as hops, and forests.
Meanwhile, Dia wears special shoes on so he won’t scratch a car while he searches it.
These exceptional dogs , according to their trainers, learned these two invasive species smells very quickly. The DEC has a list of other invasive species they will be schooling them on over the coming year.
If you want to know more about our area’s invasive species trackers, check out the DEC’s blog about them at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administration_pdf/0820dogs.pdf