global briefs Fire Hounds

Dogs Help Restore Burnt Forests in Chile Forest fires in Chile ravaged vast swathes of land in 2017, burning sturdy older trees in the El Maule region. Since

then, three border collies belonging to Francisca Torres, a member of the environmental nonprofit Pewos, have been wandering through the charred remains with special satchels that

spray seeds as they run to sow seedlings, grass and flowers. A major goal is for animals that fled the fires to return. “The main thing is for the fauna to be able to live,” says Torres. She says the dogs, bred to herd sheep, are smart and fast, covering a much larger area than a human could on foot.

Happy Hoppers

Nature Finds a Way Frogs and toads are returning in parts of Panama after a deadly fungal disease devastated amphibians in Central America from 2004 to 2007. New research shows that evolution may have saved the day. In El Cope, at least four species disappeared, including the red-striped Rio San Juan robber frog. Four other species lost at least 88 percent of their populations. They are still infected with the fungus, but are alive and increasing in numbers, according to a new study in the journal Science. Studies have shown that as bad as disease

outbreaks get, they play a tiny role in species extinction, notes Andrew Blaustein, at Oregon State University, who wasn’t part of the current study. Evolution allows species to resist completely succumbing to the nastiest diseases, “So, yes, there is hope.”

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