By Montana Grant

Posted: August 3, 2019

Yellowstone and Teton National Parks are using dogs to sniff out Zebra and Quagga Mussels. An alliance with the Bozeman nonprofit, Working Dogs for Conservation has supplied trained dogs to detect these alien invaders.

These toxic mussels are now prevalent throughout the Midwest. And were first discovered in Montana in 2016. These tiny shelled critters stick to everything and quickly disrupt our aquatic ecosystems.

Tobias, a Black Lab, has been sniffing away during the end of July. Jax will nose his way in after that. The handlers allow the dogs to smell for mussels around boats, motors, and watercraft. Once found, the handler requires the boat owner to sanitize their equipment.

You can check the Yellowstone Park website to learn where and when the dogs will be on task. Yellowstone Park also requires an inspection to use boats and watercraft in park waters.  Once the mussels establish themselves, they are nearly impossible to eradicate.

If you own a boat, be mussel aware!

Montana Grant

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