Nature World News Dingoes Not Entirely Responsible for Extinction of Predators in Australia Nature World News The study 'An ecological regime shift resulting from disrupted predator-prey interactions in Holocene Australia' is published in the...
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While Australia is known as a continent of incredible ecological diversity, there was a time when it was even more diverse. Only a few thousand years ago many more species lived on the Australian mainland such as the Tasmanian devil and the Tasmanian tiger. However, due to introduction of invasive species there has been a decline in some of the native fauna found on the Australian mainland. Only until recently it was widely believed that the introduction of the dingo by Aborigines cause the extinction of the Tasmanian devil and Tasmanian tiger on the Australian mainland. However, recent research is beginning to indicate that may not necessarily be the case.
Although it is agreed that the dingo may have had something to do with the decrease in species diversity, it is most likely climate change and an increase in human density. This is supported by the still present population of the Tasmanian Devil in Tasmania where population density is still relatively low. In spite of the boom in human population in Australia over the last hundred years people still insist that it was the dingo that is responsible. Dr. Thomas Prowse, the lead research in this study, said, “Perhaps because the public perception of dingoes as 'sheep-killers' is so firmly entrenched, it has been commonly assumed that dingoes killed off the thylacines and devils on mainland Australia.” Furthermore, because extinction of these particular species coincided with the arrival of the dingo on the Australian mainland 3000 years ago, many people have a hard time believing anything else.
Scientific studies such as these show that for proper ecological conservation it is important to understand the history of these species as well as their present day populations. With this information it is possible to extrapolate ideas as to how current species in danger can be protected. It is clearly evident that to Australians the loss of more of the nation’s precious ecological diversity will not be tolerated. Only through research such as this can the understanding of the unique ecosystems within the continent be understood to a point as to eliminate the danger of species loss.