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Influence of dingoes on sheep distribution in Australia

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Allen, B. L. and West, P. (2013) Influence of dingoes on sheep distribution in Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal, 91 (7). pp. 261-267.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/avj.12075

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/avj.12075/abstract


Objective To describe the influence of the dingo (Canis lupus dingo) on the past, present and future distributions of sheep in Australia. Design The role of the dingo in the rise and fall of sheep numbers is reviewed, revised data are provided on the present distribution and density of sheep and dingoes, and historical patterns of sheep distribution are used to explore the future of rangeland sheep grazing. Results Dingoes are a critical causal factor in the distribution of sheep at the national, regional and local levels. Dingo predation contributed substantially to the historical contraction of the sheep industry to its present-day distribution, which is almost exclusively confined to areas within fenced dingo exclusion zones. Dingo populations and/or their influence are now present and increasing in all sheep production zones of Australia, inclusive of areas that were once dingo free'. Conclusions Rangeland production of wool and sheep meat is predicted to disappear within 30-40 years if the present rate of contraction of the industry continues unabated. Understanding the influence of dingoes on sheep production may help refine disease response strategies and help predict the future distribution of sheep and their diseases.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Animal culture > Sheep
Live Archive:12 Jan 2015 01:31
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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