Dogs Are Helping Rebuild Forests Destroyed By Wildfires In Chile

Climate change has certainly been a hot button topic in recent years. At one time, it was debatable if it was actually happening, but today, the effects on our planet are too numerous to ignore.

It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are looking at, there is something changing as a result of climate change and that includes in Chile. That country saw more than 1.4 million acres of forests destroyed in the 2017 wildfire season. Along with the forest, there were 11 people killed and some 1500 homes destroyed.

It seems as if it is almost impossible to bring the forest back from charred remains, but there is a unique team that is up to the task. They were brought in to help the ecosystem and the good part is, they love their job and work for treats.

Three border collies owned by Francisca Torres along with her sister Constanza, have been trained to wear backpacks and run through the damaged forest. Those backpacks release seeds as they go, helping to restore the native plant life in the area. The border collie team includes six-year-old Das and her two daughters, Olivia and Summer, and they do a wonderful job.

According to Treehugger, Francisca said that the dogs love the work that they do and they treat it as nothing more than an excuse to have some fun.

“It’s a country trip, where they can run as fast as they can and have a great time,” she said. “We come out with the dogs and the backpacks full of native seeds, and they run for the burned forest spreading the seeds.”

“We have seen many results in flora and fauna coming back to the burned forest!” adds Torres. When she doesn’t have her dogs running through the forest, she trains assistant dogs through an environmental community, Pewos.

Border collies turned out to be the perfect breed of dog for this job, because of their speed, endurance, and intelligence. Many other dogs would be distracted by the wildlife in the area, but they tend to focus and stay on task. After all, they are sheepherders by nature so they aren’t likely to chase and injure animals in the area.

The border collies are able to travel up to 20 miles daily and spread 20 pounds of seeds while doing so. Humans may be able to do it as well but they would only cover a few miles per day. According to Treehugger, drones or robots could be used to distribute the seeds, but the dogs are less expensive and they have less of a carbon footprint.

Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

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