Alice’s Restaurant Massacree

In other news, Australia’s ongoing experiment with biological warfare doesn’t appear to be having any more success than it did with cane toads.

Killing dingoes has side effects” (and presumably not just for the dingoes) screams the Nature Research Highlights headline.

If you poison dingoes, according to a paper in Proc Roy Soc B, you allow kangaroos to flourish, which leads to less vegetation, with less room for small critters to hide. In other words, “multiple cascade pathways induced by lethal control of an apex predator, the dingo, drive unintended shifts in forest ecosystem structure”.

Yeah. You’d think they’d have learned lessons like that a long time ago. Just shoot the bloody roos—there’s good eating on them.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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6 Responses to Alice’s Restaurant Massacree

  1. cromercrox says:

    The Proc. Roy. Soc. study has a serious flaw, though, in that it has seriously understestimated the effects on the environment of doing in the dingo. If there are no dingoes to kill the roos, the roos eat saplings before they can grow into gum trees, so there are no places whence dropbears can dangle. And dropbears are the number one predator of the dingo, and I have a Ph.D. in zoology, so should know.

  2. Laurence Cox says:

    It reminds me of the proposal to return wolves to the Highlands of Scotland as the apex predator.

    There is an argument that they will keep the deer population in check and allow the Caledonian forest to regenerate. Personally, I would prefer shooting deer to control numbers, because venison is a really tasty meat and much lower in fat than anything except (I am told) wild boar (which is also very tasty).

  3. rpg says:

    I completely agree with you Laurence about the deer. I’d love to go deer stalking (and I know a chap who does, actually). Wild boar is indeed very tasty, but shooting is a bit overkill (haha) for those beasties as it messes up the meat (voice of experience) and hunting with dogs (the real man’s way of doing it) is banned in the UK.

    Henry–the problem there is you will put the manufacturers of dropbear repellant out of business.

  4. cromercrox says:

    I ate some bison, once, in a restaurant in Denver. Like beef, but leaner.

  5. rpg says:

    I thought you were going to make a joke about cracking your teeth on the porcelain.

  6. cromercrox says:

    If I had a pound for every time someone has made that joke I’d have £874