Thursday, March 20, 2014

You Cant Take Out Just One Species, Everything is Affected

In Australia, dingoes are notorious for preying on sheep and other livestock. Farmers over the years have tried to limit the loss of livestock by poisoning the dingoes. After a study conducted by the University Of South West Wales, researchers found there were dramatic impacts on the biodiversity in regions where the dingo population has decreased.

Researchers studied 14 forested regions in Southeast Australia; half of which had experienced dingo poisoning in the past 5 years.
In areas where the dingo population had dropped, population in large plant-eating animals such as kangaroos and wallabies had increased, as well as a high number or red foxes (Australia's most invasive species). These species make for ready prey for the dingo, but they seem to thrive in population where the dingoes had been poisoned.

From there the domino effect is in full swing. Both species needed more food as the population began to grow. The herbivores began to diminish the plant life making it scarce and minimal. This same plant life worked as great shelter and cover for smaller mammals such as possum and bandicoot. Now with the ground cover gone, they are exposed to predators like the red fox...which are now in excess and require more food.  So now the population in rodents and small mammals has dramatically dropped due to the lack of plant life.

The loss of mammals in biodiversity has massive impact on communities and cultures. The farmers were simply trying to prevent loss of livestock by poisoning the dingoes, but they didn't realize the damage they were actually causing around the country.  You cannot simply remove a species from an area. This has a very large domino effect and can easuly damage biodiversity in the long run.

Source Article

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