Friend or foe? Megafauna study calls for a rethink
It’s hard to imagine an Australia ruled by hippopotamus-sized wombats (Diprotodon) and three-metre-tall kangaroos (Procoptodon golian). The continent lost all native megafauna to the Pleistocene extinctions, tens of thousands of years ago.
Remarkably, however, eight species of introduced megafauna now call Australia home and some of them are “rewilding” modern ecosystems, new research has found.
These include animals on the Red List of Threatened Species, compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), such as one of the largest populations of endangered wild horses (Equus ferus caballus) and the world’s only population of wild dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius).
Dr Arian Wallach and Dr Daniel Ramp from the UTS Centre for Compassionate Conversation, along with researchers from Arizona State University and Oregon State University, say the research challenges fundamental ideas surrounding “invasive” species and conservation.
Read the full story in the UTS Newsroom.