Dingoes save rare species
Research shows that the presence of dingoes limits kangaroo and fox numbers, in turn increasing survival rates for endangered species.
This is the conclusion drawn by a team from the University of Sydney that conducted surveys at pairs of locations either side of the dingo fence, looking at the abundances of different species.
Image: Simon King / NaturePL
The dingo is a wild dog which was brought to Australia from Indonesia some 5,000 years ago. As such it is often considered a non-native species.
As dingoes prey on sheep there has been continual pressure to rid the landscape of the species, perceived as a pest. A fenceline over 5,000km long has been built to try and keep dingoes out of New South Wales' and Victoria's farmlands.
A team from the University of Sydney, led by Michael Letnic, has conducted research into species abundance either side of this dingo fence. The team found that dingoes suppress kangaroo and fox numbers. Kangaroos consume habitat and foxes directly prey on many small endangered native mammal species.
Their conclusion was that dingoes hunt kangaroos and banish foxes from landscapes that the dingo occupies. There was no discernable impact on cats - another introduced predator blamed for preying on native species.
Although it has been argued before that dingoes positively affect endangered species, this study has quantified that impact and may lend weight to dingo re-introduction schemes.
Posted by: admin on 18th Jun 2009 10:27 PM
Updated by: admin on 18th Jun 2009 10:27 PM
Expires: 01st Jan 2014 12:00 AM