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Dogs raise awareness in National Parks about aquatic invasive species

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PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS.COM

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, in partnership with Working Dogs for Conservation, will host trained dogs that will raise awareness about aquatic invasive species. Scent dog Tobias will be in Yellowstone July 19-31, and Jax will be in Grand Teton July 20-Aug. 3. While in the parks, the dogs and handlers will assist AIS boat inspectors by sniffing out zebra and quagga mussels and participate in public events.

AIS pose a grave and growing threat to the parks, the surrounding ecosystem, and visitor recreation for these reasons:

  • In 2016, non-native mussels were detected in Montana. This underscores the urgent need to prevent these and other destructive species from entering the parks.
  • AIS can completely transform habitats for native species, introduce disease, out-compete native species, alter food chains, change the physical characteristics of bodies of water, damage equipment, devastate water-delivery systems and negatively impact local/regional economies.
  • Eradication is usually impossible and management is very costly.

The public is invited to learn about AIS and meet the dogs during the following schedule:

Yellowstone National Park

Grant Village Visitor Center Parking Lot
July 19, 20, 21, 23, 24
The dog, with a handler and AIS inspection staff, will be at the parking lot from 8 a.m. to noon.

Bridge Bay Marina
July 26, 27, 28, 30, 31
The dog, with a handler and AIS inspection staff, will be at the marina from 8 a.m. to noon.

Grant Village Campground
July 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31
The dog, with a handler and park ranger, will rove the campground from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Grand Teton National Park 

Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose
July 21, 28, 30, Aug. 2
Programs will begin outside of the visitor center at 1 p.m. and will last approximately 30 minutes.

To learn more about Working Dogs for Conservation, visit wd4c.org. For more information about aquatic invasive species, visit nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/cleandraindry.htm.

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