Jessie the dog finds the missing Golden mole

In the year 1936, De Winton’s golden mole disappeared, never to be seen again, until one day South African scientists rediscovered it thanks to a dog.

Credit: Nicky Souness

By Marcel Duffy – 6th grade.

Four scientists established the search for the golden moles about a year ago. They also had help from an amazing dog named Jessie who is a Border Collie . The scientists Cobus Theron, JP Le Roux, and Esther Matthew work for the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and teamed up with Samantha Mynhardt. She researches golden moles at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. 

Golden moles have oil on their fur that make them appear golden. They live in South African dunes, in an area destroyed for diamond mining. These moles can slide through the sand very swiftly, which makes them extremely hard to find. They are so hard to find that the scientists used a new method, using their dog, to try and locate the mole.

These moles are among GWC’s ( Global Wildlife Foundation ) 25 most wanted lost species.

The scientists set out on a mission to find different types of DNA from the golden moles, called environmental DNA, which are things that we leave behind like hair or skin cells. The eDNA confirms that the mole activity around the dunes does belong to the right family of moles.  

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