Follow your nose to where the diseases grow!

There is a new weapon in the fight against the fungal disease killing native trees in Hawaiʻi.  Belgian Malinois a breed of dog are now being trained as a detector of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.Hawaiian Officials say preliminary trials show great potential for using dogs for early identification of trees impacted by Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, also known as ROD. Over the last few years, the fungal disease – of which there are two strains, Ceratocystis huliohia and the more aggressive Ceratocystis lukuohia – has impacted hundreds of thousands of acres of native ‘ōhi‘a forests on Hawai‘i Island.

The dogs are able to detect the Volatile Organic Compounds released by the disease before the visual symptoms are revealed  if the trees are or have had ROD in them but they’re not showing symptoms yet, researchers are hoping to be able to apply some kind of pesticide to be able to help save those trees.



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