Dingo protect rare marsupials
The Australian wild dogs called dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) protect rare marsupials from the fifth continent from extinction: the predators keep introduced foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral domestic cats in check so far that they do not pose a threat to smaller endemics become.
In regions where the dingoes are being persecuted or have already been exterminated, the populations of the two neozoa are increasing significantly because they now lack natural enemies. As a result, they exert high persecution pressure on small and medium-sized marsupials, which, according to the studies by Christopher Johnson from James Cook University and his colleagues, are therefore dying out locally or even completely. According to the scientists, this can be seen very clearly in the south and east of the country, where the dingo populations have disappeared or severely thinned out due to persecution pressure from sheep breeders. Significantly more small marsupials such as wallabies disappeared in these regions, while in the north and parts of the center with good dingo populations, the situation is clearly defused.
Dingos – they probably only came to Australia 3,500 to 4,000 years ago with seafarers – are now the country’s largest native predators, after the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and the Tasmanian devil (Sacophilus harrisii) went extinct on the mainland. They are heavily hunted by ranchers as they are more likely to prey on sheep and occasionally kill calves as well. Cats and foxes, on the other hand, have only been in Australia for almost 200 years and were introduced by British settlers. Many of the extinct or endangered marsupials fell prey to them, contributing to the fact that Australia at 18 has been the world's most populous country since the early 19th century. Century vanished mammal species occupies the top spot worldwide.
Johnson and his colleagues therefore recommend protecting the dingo at least outside the core sheep breeding zones in order to keep the numbers of foxes and cats, but also rabbits, in check. This is also possible in regions with cattle breeding, although the wild dogs sometimes also capture calves. However, they also kill feral goats and pigs, which in turn compete with the cattle for resources, so this cost-benefit calculation speaks for the dingo in addition to the preservation of biodiversity.