The following is an abbreviated report; you can access the full version in the link below.

Published: Oct 2, 2020

A NEW method of tracking Asian hornets involving a springer spaniel and a Leonberger was tested this week. Jersey’s Asian Hornet Group, spearheaded by Alastair Christie – Jersey’s Asian hornet coordinator – has been exploring the feasibility of using dogs to ‘sniff out’ the invasive species. Alastair was accompanied by local dog handler Caroline Germain and her dog, Eric, as well as a search dog handler from the UK, Tony Warren and his dog, Jess, a springer spaniel which is trained to find bodies. Up until now Jess has only worked with dead-nest material sent over by the group. ‘Tony is a beekeeper so he is aware of Asian hornets and the work we are doing, and is also aware of how dogs can be used to track different scents,’ said Mr. Christie.

Also joined by Asian Hornet Group volunteer Bob Tompkins, the hunters began testing the new method in a field in Trouville to see whether the dogs could pick up and successfully track the scent of the hornets to a pre-determined nest in a tremor Christie said the initial results were ‘very encouraging… It needs more time but it looks very promising,’ Meanwhile, it emerged this week in a Scrutiny hearing that the government was spending £65,000 this year tackling Asian hornets.

Director for Natural Environment, Willie Peggie, said: ‘We are operating with a paid coordinator and we now have 16 volunteers. We are finding fewer hornets this season compared to previous years which we think is down to a damp, mild winter and a damp spring ‘Early tracking of queen hornets has taken place on the east coast and we are seeing improvements in modern technology which is underpinning our tracking techniques.’ hunt/?fbclid=IwAR0zbgwyyRy5lMhUZOERUUE–I7SFeZ6ys2U0nTKc3RzEl2l-tI0jLwhPCM

Thanks to Claire Balla for sending in the links and to Jill Witham for the newspaper article.

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