Searching for the greater Capricorn beetle : a methodological review of training dogs for a conservational purpose

Detta är en Master-uppsats från SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Sammanfattning: The Greater Capricorn beetle Cerambyx cerdo is an endangered species both in Sweden (CR) and internationally (VU). The substrate, old Oak, dropped heavily in numbers in Sweden during the 19th century, which left the beetle without suitable habitats. The only remaining population is on Öland, an island on the Swedish east coast. At Nordens Ark, the species has been reared since 2012 and in the years of 2018, 2019 and 2020, they placed adults of the Greater Capricorn beetle on suitable trees on the Swedish mainland. This was done to re-establish the species where remnants had been found within the last 100 years. The result of the experiment has a five year delay due to the time it takes for the egg to become a beetle since the larva lives inside the wood for four years. A study was designed in order to train two Irish softcoated wheaten terriers, Puma and Loka, to locate the Greater Capricorn beetle larva by scent. The aim was to monitor and evaluate this method. The collected data is from training sessions held October 2019 to July 2021. This time period was divided into four slots during analysis of the data. The Accuracy was higher in the first period compared to the last for both dogs. Puma had a higher level of Sensitivity compared to Loka in period four. Motivation wise, the number of reminders given by the handler, the number of times the dog lost its’ focus and the number of times the dog asked for help had a positive correlation with the time in search. Both dogs managed to locate the target scent with success, when within reach, and to differentiate the scent from other larva, in a controlled environment, but more work remains in order for the dogs to communicate when they find targets out of reach on oak trees.

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