River Alliance of Wisconsin announces partnership to better protect native species

In an effort to conserve the environment, the River Alliance of Wisconsin partnered with Midwest Conservation Dogs Inc. on Tuesday.

Midwest Conservation Dogs trains dogs to sniff out invasive species, including plants and animals. The four dogs the conservation has can smell up to 50 different target odors.

“We just happened to come across this organization and happened to realize, right under our noses, so to speak, that there were these amazing animals that could help us, our mission and help Midwest Conservation Dogs meet its own mission,” said Raj Shukla, the executive director of the River Alliance of Wisconsin.

The dogs detect invasive species both in water and on land before the human eye, or nose, can find them. The dogs are also able to detect the species within minutes, a task that could take humans hours.

Wisconsin has more than 12,000 rivers that connect to more than 15,000 lakes. This connection gives invasive species a natural highway to infect other areas and potentially kill native species.

“All of us who live here sort of have this natural affinity for the beauty that this state brings,” Shukla said. “Focusing on conservation and doing so with your best friend, it’s something that will feel good and be good for all of us.”

The River Alliance released a video in regard to the partnership and protecting native species. The video said it’s important to clean your dog after it’s been in the water, since it could end up being a carrier of invasive species.

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