Tasmania's first hawkweed detection dog is under training in an effort to protect some of Tasmania's most sensitive environments from a highly destructive weed.
Renowned dog trainer Steve Austin will work with a specially selected German shepherd named Fonzie to sniff out orange hawkweed in the foothills of kunanyi/Mount Wellington.
Renewed efforts have been made by the City of Hobart to eradicate orange hawkweed which can be found in the Fern Tree area.
Mr Austin trained Australia's first orange hawkweed detecting dog four years ago and has previously taught dogs to find endangered bird species, foxes, feral cats, cane toads and cheetah droppings.
"This week, I'll be taking Fonzie through his paces, taking him how to find this highly invasive alpine weed so that, by summer, he can be enlisted in the fight to eradicate orange hawkweed from Tasmania," Mr Austin said.
City of Hobart Fire and Biodiversity spokeswoman Elise Jeffery said Fonzie is the only dog in Tasmania trained specifically to detect weeds.
"He is already out in the field detecting serrated tussock, which is a serious agricultural weed, and his skills will be invaluable in locating infestations of orange hawkweed," Ms Jeffery said.
The training program has been facilitated though a Natural Resource Management South grant.