Can threatened species survive where the top predator is absent?

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dc.contributor.author Wallach, AD
dc.contributor.author Murray, BR
dc.contributor.author O'Neill, AJ
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-28T09:43:57Z
dc.date.issued 2009-01
dc.date.issued 2009-01
dc.identifier.citation Biological Conservation, 2009, 142 (1), pp. 43 - 52
dc.identifier.citation Biological Conservation, 2009, 142 (1), pp. 43 - 52
dc.identifier.issn 0006-3207
dc.identifier.other C1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/8549
dc.description.abstract Top predators have been described as highly interactive keystone species. Their decline has been linked to secondary extinctions and their increase has been linked to ecological restoration. Several authors have recently argued that the dingo Canis lupus dingo is another example of a top predator that maintains mesopredators and generalist herbivores at low and stable numbers, thereby increasing biodiversity and productivity. Due to the sensitivity of many Australian species to introduced mesopredators and herbivores, the top predator hypothesis predicts that threatened species will not survive where dingoes are rare or absent. However, several threatened species have survived inside the Dingo Barrier Fence (DBF). We present a new view on the survival of the yellow-footed rock-wallaby Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus and the malleefowl Leipoa ocellata inside the DBF where the dingo is considered very rare, or in areas where the dingo is believed to have been eradicated several decades ago. We found that dingoes co-occurred with both threatened species. Dingoes were present at all wallaby colonies surveyed and occurred throughout their range. The most common predator detected in areas inhabited by the wallabies was in fact the dingo, and we found no significant difference between dingo abundance inside compared to outside the DBF. Malleefowl nests were found to be scent marked by dingoes at the three sites that we surveyed, despite these sites being close to human settlement and sheep farms, and in small and fragmented patches of wilderness. These findings provide further evidence for an association between the presence of dingoes and the survival of threatened species, which is in agreement with the top predator hypothesis. The results of this study challenges the current assumption that the presence and ecological consequence of dingoes in sheep country are negligible and we suggest that wildlife managers verify whether dingoes are present before predator control is initiated. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
dc.description.abstract Top predators have been described as highly interactive keystone species. Their decline has been linked to secondary extinctions and their increase has been linked to ecological restoration. Several authors have recently argued that the dingo Canis lupus dingo is another example of a top predator that maintains mesopredators and generalist herbivores at low and stable numbers, thereby increasing biodiversity and productivity. Due to the sensitivity of many Australian species to introduced mesopredators and herbivores, the top predator hypothesis predicts that threatened species will not survive where dingoes are rare or absent. However, several threatened species have survived inside the Dingo Barrier Fence (DBF). We present a new view on the survival of the yellow-footed rock-wallaby Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus and the malleefowl Leipoa ocellata inside the DBF where the dingo is considered very rare, or in areas where the dingo is believed to have been eradicated several decades ago. We found that dingoes co-occurred with both threatened species. Dingoes were present at all wallaby colonies surveyed and occurred throughout their range. The most common predator detected in areas inhabited by the wallabies was in fact the dingo, and we found no significant difference between dingo abundance inside compared to outside the DBF. Malleefowl nests were found to be scent marked by dingoes at the three sites that we surveyed, despite these sites being close to human settlement and sheep farms, and in small and fragmented patches of wilderness. These findings provide further evidence for an association between the presence of dingoes and the survival of threatened species, which is in agreement with the top predator hypothesis. The results of this study challenges the current assumption that the presence and ecological consequence of dingoes in sheep country are negligible and we suggest that wildlife managers verify whether dingoes are present before predator control is initiated. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
dc.language eng
dc.language eng
dc.relation.isbasedon 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.09.021
dc.title Can threatened species survive where the top predator is absent?
dc.type Journal Article
dc.description.version Published
dc.parent Biological Conservation
dc.parent Biological Conservation
dc.journal.volume 1
dc.journal.volume 142
dc.journal.number 1 en_US
dc.publocation Oxford en_US
dc.identifier.startpage 43 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 52 en_US
dc.cauo.name SCI.Faculty of Science en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 0602 Ecology
dc.personcode 010046
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name Ecology en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition en_US
dc.custom en_US
dc.date.activity en_US
dc.location.activity ISI:000262596900004 en_US
dc.description.keywords Canis lupus dingo
dc.description.keywords Canis lupus dingo
dc.description.keywords Keystone
dc.description.keywords Keystone
dc.description.keywords Malleefowl
dc.description.keywords Malleefowl
dc.description.keywords Rock-wallaby
dc.description.keywords Rock-wallaby
dc.description.keywords Scent marking
dc.description.keywords Scent marking
dc.description.keywords Top-down regulation
dc.description.keywords Top-down regulation
pubs.embargo.period Not known
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Science
utslib.copyright.status Closed Access
utslib.copyright.date 2015-04-15 12:17:09.805752+10
pubs.consider-herdc true
utslib.collection.history Closed (ID: 3)
utslib.collection.history School of the Environment (ID: 344)
utslib.collection.history School of the Environment (ID: 344)
utslib.collection.history School of the Environment (ID: 344)


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