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Introduced Animals in Australia

Many animals were brought to Australia by humans. Some of them have caused severe problems to native plants and animals. These animals have multiplied so rapidly because there are no native predators (hunting animals) or diseases to control them.

Wild Camels roaming AUstralian Outback

Camels

Camels were brought to Australia from Afghanistan for use in exploration and to carry cargo over the vast arid deserts.

With the advent of the motor car and railroads they were no longer needed and were set free. The descendants of these camels now roam the outback. Their numbers have increased so much that they are now considered a threat to the local habitat.

Camel racing is popular in Alice Springs.

DID YOU KNOW

Wild camels are only found in Australia.
Some have actually been exported to Arabia (the Middle East).

Australian Outback Camel Caravan
Australian Outback Camel Cart
Australain Outback Camel Races

Australian Dingo

Dingo

The Dingo was brought to Australia by the aborigines. They came here around 40,000 years ago.

The Dingo is an Asian wild dog. Some people say it originally came from Thailand.

The Dingo usually lives by itself or in a small family group. It eats almost anything it can find from Kangaroos and Wallabies to rats, mice, frogs, lizards and even fruit.

It is not a great threat to the Australian habitat. They are not all that popular with farmers though.

DID YOU KNOW

Dingoes don't like water. Most dingoes will only wade water but will not swim.
Dingoes cannot bark!

Wild Rabbits in Australia

Rabbits

Rabbits were introduced in to Australia by Thomas Austin of Barwon Park, Winchelsea in Victoria. In 1859 Austin imported 24 rabbits from England and released them on his property for sport hunting. Today there are over 200 million of them (See what they mean when they say "breed like rabbits").

Rabbit damage

Damage caused by rabbits around Phillip Island, Victoria.

rabbit after

Dramatic revival of the same environment once rabbits were eradicated.

Cane Toad

Cane Toad

The Cane Toad was brought to Australia in 1935 to protect the sugar cane fields of Queensland from the cane beetle But guess what? It didn't work!

Scientists warned the farmers not to bring the cane toad to Australia but the farmers didn't listen and brought them in anyway.

The cane toad has no natural enemies in Australia and lives up to 20 years. A female cane toad can lay up to 40,000 eggs (while the native frogs lay only about 1,000). Most native tadpoles can't live in the same water as the poisonous Cane Toad tadpoles.

The cane toad is highly poisonous. It carries toxin in two large bulging glands on its shoulders (see them in the picture). Native animals that normally feed on native frogs try t o eat the cane toad and die. Even grasping the toad in their mouths is enough to kill.

Because they are multiplying so rapidly and because they will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths they are devastating the native ground dwelling micro-fauna (small ground creatures).

Water Buffalo

Water Buffalo

About 80 water buffalo were brought to Australia from Indonesia between 1825 and 1843 to provide remote settlements in the Northern territory with meat. When these settlements were abandoned in the 1850s the buffalo were set free and soon spread rapidly throughout the area. In the 1980s it was estimated that there were more than 350,000 feral buffaloes in the Northern territory alone.

They have been become a major environmental disaster in the wetlands of the north. Their wallowing habit severely damages native flora .

A major culling operation was undertaken some time ago and the population of buffalo is now manageable and numbering about 80,000.

 

 

 

 

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