Institute of Safety and Security Research (ISF) / Institute for Detection Technologies (IDT)

ISF tests olfactory training aid for species detection dogs

Kleine Gelbbauchunken ISF Foto Christopher Becher

Tuesday 19 September 2023

The Institute of Safety and Security Research (ISF) has conducted initial tests with olfactory training aids for species detection dogs in Bayreuth, Germany, on behalf of DB Netz AG's Competence Center for Species Mapping. In the run-up to construction projects, the railroad scans terrain with specially trained dogs for animals under species protection.

Species detection dogs or species protection dogs (externally, there are also species protection dogs) have already been used elsewhere for years - increasingly, for example, for monitoring animal species (e.g. lynx, wolf). However, it is difficult to obtain and use (live) odour samples of protected species for training the dogs.

New development of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences

A new development by the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS) should now make this easier. In the project "Identification of odour traces of Asian hardwood longhorn beetles or citrus longhorn beetles" (funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia), the university has developed filter systems for odour sampling of quarantine pests and optimised them for use outside the laboratory in the "Campus to World" project funded by the federal-state initiative "Innovative Hochschule".

In Bayreuth, the researchers have now taken air samples above various animals of two protected species (yellow-bellied toad and smooth snake). The animals were provided by the Terrarienclub Bayreuth und Umgebung e.V., on whose premises DB Netz AG has already been able to train its species detection dogs repeatedly and where the series of experiments described here also took place. The filter samples were then searched for by Netz AG's species detection dogs in differentiation sections. The basic suitability of the filter as an alternative or supplementary training tool for the dogs to detect protected species was demonstrated.

Kleine Gelbbauchunken ISF Foto Christopher Becher
Mehrere Gelbbauchunken-Jungtiere. Die namensgebende Warnfärbung des Bauches ist gut erkennbar. Die Art gilt in Deutschland als stark gefährdet. Foto: Christopher Becher


Personenbild Christopher Becher

Christopher Becher

Managing director ISF, Research, Radiation Protection Officer at the Department of Natural Sciences




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