From: Emily Sohn, Discovery News
Published June 30, 2009 10:46 AM

Predatory Dingoes Promote Diversity

The world's longest fence stretches for 5,000 kilometers (more than 3,000 miles) from one side of southern Australia to another. The fence was designed to keep sheep-eating dingoes out of a third of the country, but the barrier has had some other surprising consequences.

On the dingo-free side of the fence, according to a new study, overall biodiversity is actually lower than it is on the side where dingoes are free to roam. The research suggests that invasive predators, once they've established themselves, play an important role in the food web and might actually be good for conservation.

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The finding could affect efforts to both control and reintroduce predators in other parts of the world, too, including wolves in the western United States.

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