Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dingoes Ate Their Babies?

Interesting piece over at Cosmos Magazine (not to be confused with Cosmo!) titled "The Dingo Divide." It's about an effort underway by some researchers to encourage the use of the dingo (Canis lupus dingo) as a biological control for feral cats (Felis catus) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that roam Australia. These days, dingoes aren't very well-liked, and are often killed to keep them from attacking herds of sheep and cattle. But scientists say killing dingoes could be harming native biodiversity by reducing the numbers of one of the few predators remaining that can actually kill the foxes and cats. Complicating the situation is the fact that the dingoes themselves were also introduced to Australia, but being as that was about 4000 years ago, they seem to have seniority.

Is this a classic biological control case, or should the dingoes be considered a native and natural part of the Australian habitat? After you've chewed on that for a while, check out this great YouTube video of an invasive red fox grabbing (and then losing) a wallaby. It was both shot and sent in by Tom Rayner - Thanks Tom!

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