Rat-sniffing dogs help in the effort to rid rodents from Lehua Island

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Two rat-sniffing dogs recently wrapped-up work at Lehua island.

The island is a state seabird sanctuary less than a mile north of Ni’ihau.

The border terriers Henry and Reese criss-crossed the rugged terrain trying to find invasive rats.

Lehua Island Restoration Project partners applied conservation bait to remove the rats last year,  because the rats eat native plants and the chicks of nesting seabirds.

The efforts appear to be working, as Mele Khalsa of Island Conservation said “we’re not seeing any negative impacts of rats at this time. you know the vegetation is doing really well. the native plants are able to set fruit. and the native birds are successfully breeding.”

Henry and Reese don’t kill the rats, rather they just sniff them out then staff mark the spots.  

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