Research

Feral foxes and felines dangerous to our desert dwellers

Image courtesy of Scimex

Desert mammal populations are limited by introduced predators rather than future climate change.

Climate change is predicted to place up to one in six species at risk of extinction in coming decades, but extinction probability is likely to be influenced further by biotic interactions such as predation.

Changes in rainfall and wildfire from climate change are likely to influence the cover and productivity of vegetation and in turn, populations of mammals reliant on cover and seeds.

However, our results show that, while vegetation cover may decline due to climate change, the strongest negative effect on prey populations in the desert system is from introduced predators.

Source: The University of Sydney

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