Source: NPR

Scientists in South Africa have rediscovered 11 De Winton’s golden moles, a species not seen since 1936, using a trained border collie named Jessie and DNA analysis. The tiny, blind moles with an iridescent coat live underground and move through sand using sound and vibration.

The team, including researchers from the University of Pretoria and Endangered Wildlife Trust, used Jessie to locate mole traces on Port Nolloth Beach and confirmed their identity through environmental DNA analysis. The area where the moles were found is currently unprotected and faces threats from development and diamond mining. Conservationists aim to gain protective status for De Winton’s habitat based on the discovery.

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