German dogs to sniff out wildlife on construction sites to speed up work

BERLIN, October 26 (Reuters) – Sniffer dogs are being trained by the German Deutsche Bahn (DB) (DBN.UL) to find protected wildlife on major construction sites planned to speed up projects, the railway group said on Tuesday.

So far, humans have been tasked with finding animals that need to be moved to a safer location during construction, but the dogs are expected to return to work in 2022 after training that is expected to end by the end of this. year, said DB.

“The use of dogs for construction projects is new in Germany. Thanks to their keen sense of smell, dogs can find protected species at any time of the year and in almost any weather,” said Jens Bergmann, director of DB infrastructure planning.

“It will help us start building faster.”

Trainers of the railway company work with six dogs of different breeds, who learn to smell protected animals such as crawling snakes, yellow-bellied toads, bats, wall lizards and sand lizards on the tracks. railroads, DB said.

Dogs learn to recognize the scent of animals by sniffing eggshells and droppings outdoors as well as under different weather conditions in a climatic chamber, DB said.

As the dogs explore construction sites, their handlers will record their findings on a tablet using a new digital data platform aimed at giving all project participants and regulatory authorities access to the data in real time on detected species.

Scientists from the University of Innsbruck, the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research also accompany the dogs and their trainers.

Reporting by Andreas Buerger, Frank Simon Writing by Zuzanna Szymanska, Editing by William Maclean

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