From April 2019, the date on which the Anti-Poison Dog Unit (UCA) created as part of the LIFE Egyptian vulture project started working, 28 inspections were carried out on the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
The largest number of inspections were carried out on the island of Lanzarote (22) while only 6 inspections were carried out in Fuerteventura. It is important to note that all the inspections were carried out in the presence of environmental Agents.
Most of the inspections were of a preventive nature (22) and made it possible to visit different areas of the islands in which previously the death of some animals had been detected due to poisoning or some other event suspecting the illegal use of poison.
In Lanzarote, the highest number of inspections involved the municipality of Haría (10), although inspections were also carried out in Tinajo (5), Teguise (4), San Bartolomé (2) and Yaiza (1). In Fuerteventura half of the inspections were carried out in Puerto del Rosario (3) and, punctually, in La Oliva, Pájara and Tuineje.
Of the 28 inspections carried out two were successful. In Fuerteventura on April 12, 2019, after an Egyptian vulture had been located with symptoms of poisoning, the environmental agents requested the intervention of the UCA, which positively marked the area in which the animal had vomited. The laboratory analyzes then confirmed the poisoning.
The second case of positive inspection was reported by only one of the dogs, but in this case it concerned a jar with an insecticide that was not among the specific substances that the dogs were trained to identify.
Between 1 and 5 October 2019 in Fuerteventura took place a course of “refinement” of the dogs of the UCA. The outcome of the course was clearly positive.
Duc, the Dutch shepherd, continues the good work done from the beginning. Menta, the springer spaniel, had shown less motivation to research before the course; therefore the conditioning has changed and both an improvement in attitude and an increase in research motivation have been achieved.
The team of trainers of “La Sombra del Cerbero” (the company in charge of the dogs’training) assessed very positively, in its October course report, the work carried out by the conductor.