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Teams of dogs like the Working Dogs for Conservation are being trained and used to eradicate invasive species. The Working Dogs for Conservation are specifically trying to get rid of the invasive weed called Dyer’s Woad in the Montana brush that is native to Russia. This weed has been taking over the native plants to that area which leads to a decrease in biodiversity due to the fact that one plant is killing multiple other species. These dogs are taken from shelters and put into training but about half fail out. Humans attempt to control this species by locating it due to its characteristic yellow flower. This system doesn’t work too well because once the yellow flower has bloomed, the plant has already reproduced. The dogs are able to locate these plants in the hundreds that were missed by humans. After multiple trips to the brush, the dogs nearly eliminated Dyer’s Woad as only four were found the following season. There isn’t much solid evidence pointing to the fact that the noses of dogs are stronger than humans but they do rely on their olfactory sense, relating to their sense of smell, more than we do. This means a greater portion of their mental capacity goes towards their sense of smelling. While humans previously used visual testing to find the invasive species, the dogs use their sense of smell which is a better indicator for this species. It is unknown if humans share this smelling ability as humans are not used for tracking, but dogs have proven to be extremely helpful in locating invasive species like Dyer’s Woad.Background: An invasive species is an organism that isn’t native to the ecosystem it resides in but causes harm to the environment, human health, and/or economy. They typically spread aggressively as well as grow and reproduce fast. They are a major threat to wildlife as 42 percent of endangered animals are at risk because of invasive species. Their spread can be caused by the traveling of people and goods that often unintentionally carry foreign species. Their spread could also be caused by the escaping or releasing of organisms as well as climate change. Climate change could enable species to move outside their ecosystems. They pose a threat to native organisms because the invasive species could carry harmful diseases, prey on the natives, compete with the natives for resources, as well as killing their offspring. Relevancy: Invasive species are extremely important to locate because they threaten many native species with competition. As we learned in class, competition is typically different organisms competing for resources. When the invasive species come, they take many of the resources that are vital to the survival of the native plants. The decrease in resources, by the invasive plants, causes the native plant’s population  to decrease. This means that there weren’t enough resources for the current population of native plants which causes a decline in their population. This decline was caused by the the competition brought by the invasive species. Invasive species often cause the declines of multiple native species. This decline of the native species decreases biodiversity. Biodiversity is important because it offers a community an easier time bouncing back after natural or human caused decline.

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