Drinking dingos keep feral predators at bay

Predators are major beneficiaries of artificial water points in arid environments. But little is known of the effects of water on the distribution of species. The way species interact around water points in arid Australia may play a significant role in the composition of groups of predators.

Researchers working on this issue found that at sites where dingoes were uncontrolled, foxes were less likely to be found within 5 km of water points. Where dingoes were controlled using exclusion fencing, fox activity was highest near water. Where dingo activity was reduced using 1080 baiting, feral cats were found closer to water.

Where there are dingoes, cats and foxes are less likely to use artificial water sources. The presence of dingoes could reduce the impact feral predators have on native species.

Read more at CSIRO