Featured Rewildologist: Filson
I sniff for data on endangered and rare species to assist with wildlife research and conservation efforts! Sometimes I sniff for scat (a.k.a. poo) from species as diverse as wolves to mountain lions, but I also detect live animals like larvae from threatened butterflies & turtle nests, I’ve smelled invisible odors like viruses affecting plants, I find pellets from raptors like owls, I pinpoint mortalities of birds & bats to help clean energy initiatives, and I’m learning how to locate bumble bee nests! In reward for my efforts I get to play my favorite game in the world… fetch!
Wow! You do so much for conservation. How did you get to what you’re doing today?
My early years are not well known. I was adopted from a Craig’s List post and was passed around into different families until I landed my forever home with Rogue Detection Teams. I’ve had a rough go of it… my tail is broken, my teeth are worn down, & I’m actually a pretty shy guy. But Rogues doesn’t mind. They adopt shelter and rescue dogs who have lots of energy. We didn’t make great pets in a typical family home because of this. By giving us a job sniffing for conservation they give us “rogue dogs” a new chance at a fulfilling life and a forever home working alongside our “bounders,” or conservation detection dog handlers.
You’ve had quite a winding journey. We’re sure glad the wonderful people at Rogue found you! What advice do you have for other Rewildologists?
Every little effort we make for wildlife and the environment counts, whether we’re sniffing for data on endangered species, like me, or if you’re a dog who’s person lives in a town or city… you can get involved in small acts of rewilding when you encourage your person to pick up after your dog doo (it helps our shared water sources!), if you don’t chase squirrels (us detection dogs don’t chase wildlife because it scares them and we don’t want to stress them), or if you volunteer with your person to support local area wildlife rehabs or co-existing education programs. And even though it’s not about rewilding, heading to your local rescue to give some shelter dogs (or cats, I guess) some love always brings us shelter animals some joy.
Thank you so much for your time, Filson!
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