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These wonderful dogs are planting trees with the goal of restoring the forest ecosystem.
Years ago more than 100 forest fires in central Chile devastated the El Maule region and destroyed more than a million acres of forest land.
It was the most tragic wildfire season in the nation's history, claiming multiple lives and causing an estimated $ 333 million in damage. The animals were forced to flee to safer areas.
When it came to thinking about how to recover the hectares of lost forests, the outlook looked bleak. But until someone came up with a brilliant idea.
Sisters Francisca and Constanza Torres have three dogs that take care of this task.
Six-year-old Das and his two daughters, Olivia and Summer, are three Border Collies who were trained to run through damaged forests with special backpacks so that as they walk, they release native plant seeds that will help regenerate the destroyed area.
This breed is ideal for this hard work. Traversing miles of forest terrain requires not only speed, intelligence, and stamina, but also a willingness to stay focused and not get distracted by wildlife. Also, Border Collies were bred to herd sheep, they are harmless, so they are not as likely to chase or hurt other animals in the forest.
The Torres sisters say that the furry trio have fun jumping and jumping through nature. “They really love it! It's a trip to the countryside, where they can run as fast as they can and have a great time ”, Francisca comments.
This system is also more efficient than having people spread the seeds manually. These canine rapids can run through a forest and cover up to 18 miles a day. Humans, on the other hand, can only cover a few kilometers each day. These dogs can spread more than 10 kilos of seeds, depending on the terrain. While robots or drones can also disperse seeds but dogs are not that expensive to handle. Most importantly, they leave a lighter carbon footprint.
Francisca and Constanza put special backpacks on the dogs, fill them with native seeds, and then go to the woods. Once the dogs have emptied their bags, Francisca and Constanza give them lots of treats, refill their bags, and release them again to run around the destroyed forest, spraying more seeds as they go. The ultimate goal of all of this, of course, is to restore the damaged ecosystem and bring wildlife back to the forests.
For Francisca, bringing trained dogs into the forest made sense. She runs a dog training center and community called Pewos. While they receive some donations, she and Constanza pay for most of the seeds, supplies, and transportation. Despite the hard work, your labor of love is already paying off.
"We have seen many results in the flora and fauna returning to the burned forest!" While the dogs have already worked in 15 forests in the El Maule region, Francisca and Constanza plan to continue spreading seeds to reclaim the forests with the canine trio.
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