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Losing Australia’s diggers is hurting our ecosystems

Fleming, P.A. (2013) Losing Australia’s diggers is hurting our ecosystems. The Conversation, 25 September .

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Abstract

Despite once being described as common, mammals have been lost across the Australian landscape over the last 200 years. The impact has been particularly severe on Australia’s digging mammals, including iconic species like echidnas, bilbies and bandicoots. New research shows that the decline is not just bad for mammals, but for Australia’s ecosystems too.

Through introduction of predators, land clearing, and disease, six of the 29 digging mammal species that were present 200 years ago are now extinct. Nearly all the living species show massive range contractions – many are gone from the Australian mainland completely or exist only in predator-proof fenced reserves.

Our new study from Murdoch University, published today in Mammal Review, has highlighted the relationship between the loss of Australian digging mammals, and ecosystem decline.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
Publishers Website: http://theconversation.com/au
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29891
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