Trained Dogs Outperform Human Surveyors in the Detection of Rare Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

Photo source: weedcenter.org

Photo source: weedcenter.org

Kim M. Goodwin, Rick E. Engel, and David K. Weaver. Invasive Plant Science and Management 3, April–June 2010.

Invasive plants have devastating effects on ecosystems and biodiversity that early intervention can prevent. Eradication or containment of new invasions is difficult to achieve because of constraints posed by the low density and detectability of individuals. Domestic dogs trained to cue on distinctive scents might provide an effective method to detect spotted knapweed. The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy and detection distances of dogs to humans in locating new spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) invasions.

Read more at http://www2.allenpress.com/pdf/IPSM-3.2-113-121.pdf