Watch and learn about Finn the Wonder Dog and his journey that helped save the Humboldt National Reserve.
Finn is no ordinary dog. He is a detection dog, specially trained to sniff out invasive rabbits. You might wonder, “How does a dog come to be a detection dog?” Well, like many dogs, Finn was rescued from an animal shelter and worked for the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, but Finn’s skills were needed on islands all around the world.
First, he ventured to Macquarie Island where our Island Conservation staff first met him. His keen sense of smell helped Island Conservation and our partners to confirm the success of the invasive rabbit removal in 2014. That same year he traveled to Chile with his trainer Karen Andrews to help Island Conservation on the islands of Choros and Chañaral.
Choros and Chañaral Islands are part of the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve and home to the Humboldt Penguin and the Peruvian Diving Petrel. The invasive rabbits devoured native vegetation that shelter penguin chicks and occupied the nests of the Peruvian Diving Petrel. Richard Torres, manager of protected wild areas at CONAF, explained:
It is a story that has happened on many islands around the world, where sailors or fishermen did this in order to have food in isolated places. However, these species, because they are not part of the island ecosystem, cause harm to the native biodiversity.
Now, thanks to Finn and his wondrous sense of smell, Choros and Chañaral Islands have officially been declared free of invasive rabbits and for the first time in 100 years, native birds have a chance to thrive on the islands.
- Island Restoration Set to Save Coral Reefs - October 19, 2020
- Emerging Research on Tetiaroa Atoll - October 16, 2020
- Restoring Tetiaroa Atoll from Ridge to Reef - October 16, 2020
- Press Release: Pursuing Sustainable Development for Island Communities by Removing Invasive Species - August 13, 2020
- Press Release: Advancing Drone Technology for People and the Planet - July 1, 2020
- Restoring Balance and Building Climate Resilience on Tetiaroa Atoll - June 24, 2020
- Fishing Community Strives for Healthy Oceans Surrounding Pajaros Uno Island - June 24, 2020
- The Plight of the Pink-footed Shearwater - June 24, 2020
- Monitoring Lehua Island After Dark - June 24, 2020
- Rare Endangered Albatross Takes Flight from Midway Atoll - June 19, 2020