The roles that top predators play in regulating the structure and function of ecosystems have long been controversial. This is particularly the case when predators pose adverse risks for human life and/or economic interests. The critique of literature on dingoes and their ecological roles in Australia provided by Allen et al. (2011) shows that top predators remain a potentially polarising issue. In opposition to Allen et al. we argue that these widespread patterns of species’ abundances, attributed to the effects of dingoes and evident at scales ranging from the foraging behaviour of individuals through to continental scale patterns of species abundances, constitute strong support for the mesopredator release hypothesis and provide evidence that dingoes benefit biodiversity conservation by inducing community wide trophic cascades. Harnessing the positive ecological effects of dingoes while at the same time minimising their impacts on agriculture is a major socio-political challenge in Australia [Current Zoology 57 (5): 668-670].
Field of Research
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio Economic Objective
960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales