Wales

Spaniel Sherlock Bones sniffing out rare newts

Conservation dog Rocky, with a great crested newt on a log Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Spaniel Rocky can sniff out endangered great crested newts

A spaniel called Rocky is being put to work to help save the rare great crested newt.

The real-life Sherlock Bones is helping to survey development sites for the protected species.

Rocky, who is based in Flintshire, is lending his help to identify locations where the newts are living - before building work can begin.

It has taken canine training specialists Wagtail UK several years to perfect the techniques required.

But they say Rocky has now been recognised by the scientific community for his ability to hunt down the great crested species.

Colin Singer, from Wagtail, said it had taken "four years of research, painstaking trial and error" to get to this point, with a conservation dog that can be relied on to sniff out the rare newt.

"This work highlights the innovative manner in which dogs can be used in conservation and to assist with ecological surveys," he added.