Conservation Dogs May Help in Search for Endangered Franklin’s Bumblebee

"Handlers hope a mutt named Filson can sniff out a pollinator no one has seen in 15 years."

"The quest to save a rare pollinator from extinction has just gained an unlikely ally: a mutt named Filson.

A six-year-old Australian cattle dog mix with black and tan fur and oversized ears, Filson will soon join the mission to find the endangered Franklin’s bumblebee (Bombus franklini). The fuzzy pollinator, which no one has observed in 15 years, became a federally protected species this summer.

But before anyone can protect the tiny, underground-dwelling bumblebee, they need to make sure it still exists. That’s not an easy task for human eyes, but it could be a piece of cake for a dog’s nose, says Jennifer Hartman, Filson’s handler and a field scientist from Rogue Detection Teams. The Washington-based company rescues “fetch-obsessed” dogs and teaches them to help track wildlife and assist in conservation research."

Juliet Grable reports for The Revelator October 25, 2021.

Source: The Revelator, 10/26/2021