1 Tahrcountry Musings: Maligned Dingo Has Vital Ecosystem Role

Friday, November 03, 2006

Maligned Dingo Has Vital Ecosystem Role

The Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) is a much-maligned animal in Australia particularly in sheep rearing areas. Sheep farmers attempt to completely eliminate them as they prey on sheep. Poison is the most common method of controlling dingo populations. Now research carried out by Professor Chris Johnson of James Cook University in Queensland shows that Australia's last native "top predator" perform an essential role in maintaining biodiversity He has found that marsupial populations have a much better chance in areas that also have stable populations of dingoes. In cattle country, by and large, dingoes will hunt kangaroos or rabbits. They also keep fox and feral cat numbers in check, say researchers. The findings are reported in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am very pleased to see people are finally becoming aware of the dingo and its place in the Australian environment.

Dingoes have been, and still are, subjected to unspeakable cruelty in the country. Apart from being poisoned, shot and trapped they are run down with vehicles, hung from fences, beaten to death with stirrup irons (a favourite Australian image) and so on. The only way this cruelty will be stopped is for there to be an international outcry.

One argument used against them is that they have 'only' been here approximately 4500 years (2500 years before the birth of Christ, and well before the founding of the Roman empire just to put it in perspective) and therefore are not Australian 'natives'. It has always struck me as ironic that those who deny them a place in Australian ecology are the most recent newcomers of them all - the Europeans, who have been here only 200 odd years and have managed to cause immense damage to the environment in that time. The Aborigines have never questioned the dingo's place in Australia.

Julie and Christina said...

You know who else is a dingo? This guy.