Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2004
Publication Date: 2/1/2005
Citation: Goodwin, K., Sheley, R.L., Lynch, W., Menalled, F. 2005. Detection of spotted knapweed (centaurea maculosa lam.) using canine olfaction. [abstract] Society for Range Management. Paper No. 131.
Technical Abstract: Abstract: Invasive weeds continue to rapidly spread and permanently damage healthy ecosystems at an alarming rate. Rapid and chronic spread results from small populations with high spread rates that often go undetected. Although early control can slow spread, its efficacy relies on successful detection of incipient invasions. Complete ground surveys, although expensive, difficult, and unlikely across large areas, still remain the best method to detect new weeds. Complete surveys may become practical when augmented with the use of specially trained, point source detector dogs. We are investigating the efficacy of using a specially trained canine (Canis familiaris L.) as a novel ground survey method to thoroughly sample high quality rangeland ecosystems for spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.). Scientifically valid studies support the usefulness of canines as an effective detection technology based on advantages in sampling efficiency, sensitivity, target noise discrimination, and gradient detection. Domestic dogs may be successful in locating spotted knapweed in low density because of their high sensitivity to a target and ability to cover more area over manual searches. We have successfully trained a 2-year old Rocky Mountain Shepherd to reliably detect and positively indicate living spotted knapweed in controlled odor discrimination trials with an overall correct indication performance of 94 percent. We will present results from controlled and preliminary field discrimination trials.