German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) is training dogs to detect wild animals in areas where construction works are planned to speed up the works.
Until now, humans have been in charge of finding the animals that should be moved to a safe place while the works are carried out, but from 2022 the dogs will take their place, once their training is finished, at the end of the year.
“The use of dogs in construction projects is something 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 condition,” said Jens Bergmann, planning director of DB infrastructures “This will help us start projects faster,” he explained.
Six dogs in the service of the German railways
The company’s trainers teach six dogs to sniff out protected animals such as snakes, yellowtails (a type of toad), bats, storks and sand lizards on train tracks. Animals learn to recognize their own scent by smelling the eggshells and skins shed by reptiles.
As the dogs “explore” the construction sites, their handlers will record the findings on a tablet using a new digital platform that will give all project participants and regulators real-time access to the data.
The program also involves scientists from the University of Innsbruck, the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Studies.
source: iefi merida