Cats, fire, buffaloes, dingoes and mammals in Northern Australia

Wed, 29 Jul 2020

Many small- and medium-sized mammals are in rapid decline in northern Australia with many now restricted to offshore islands.

We undertook the most comprehensive assessment of the causes of these declines in the Top End to date. We found that the role of feral herbivores (buffaloes, horses, and cattle) in mammal decline has been underestimated.

The research also points to solutions to help stem the loss. Frequent fire and over grazing remove critical shelter and food for native mammals, and attract cats and dingoes. Improved fire regimes and culling of large feral herbivores will help recover declining mammals in northern Australia.

The research was undertaken by the Northern Territory Government and Charles Darwin University with support from the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program through the Threatened Species Recovery Hub and the Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub.

The research has been published in: Biological Conservation - Diversity and Distributions -