Can farmers live with dingoes? ECOS has been exploring the ecological value of dingoes and other apex predators within ecosystems, as part of a wider debate about whether such predators should be culled or conserved in areas where they come into conflict with humans and human property. Now we ask, is it possible for dingoes and livestock grazing to co-exist?
‘Primary’ forests? Yes, there is a difference – and we need them more than ever
What often gets lost in the public debate about forests is the fact that they are not all the same. This is not just a rhetorical point. The world's ‘primary' forests – those barely touched by industrial human activity – naturally sequester and store vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere; are home to species found nowhere else; are a source of abundant freshwater; and provide sustainable livelihoods for forest-dwelling Indigenous communities.
How flesh-eaters helped shape our ecosystems
Australian carnivores exhibit a remarkable diversity, from the small antechinuses found in rainforest trees, to goannas living in the heat of the central and western deserts. Each plays a vital role in our ecosystems, keeping other predators and herbivores under check and exerting ecological pressure from the top down.
Listening to the land
Imagine yourself in the middle of the rainforest. Close your eyes. What do you hear? Perhaps the rustling of ground birds scratching around in the leaf litter, the sudden whip of a whipbird, the machine gun rattle of Lewin's honeyeater, the swish of the high canopy as the wind passes overhead.
Urbanisation brings animals and diseases closer to home
Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30 per cent of the world's population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50 per cent and rising. Among urbanisation's many environmental challenges is the increased risk of pathogen transmission.