A comment on the distribution of historical and contemporary livestock grazing across Australia: Implications for using dingoes for biodiversity conservation


  • Benjamin L. Allen

At the time of writing this paper, Ben Allen was completing his doctorate with the University of Queensland, School of Animal Studies, Warrego Highway, Gatton, Qld 4343. Ben is now with the New South Wales government Department of Industry and Investment, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit (Sulphide Street, Broken Hill, NSW 2880, Australia; Tel: +61 8 8088 9300; Email: benjamin.allen@industry.nsw.gov.au, vimpem@yahoo.com.au). This comment piece forms part of a series of papers investigating the role of dingoes as top-order predators in Australian terrestrial systems.


Summary  Understanding the causes of faunal declines is important for preserving Australia’s threatened fauna. Both predation and livestock grazing have been investigated as potential causes of declines, but some studies struggle to account for historical grazing impacts due to the lack of historical information on livestock distribution and grazing intensity. This article summarises some trends in the extent of historical and contemporary livestock grazing on mainland Australia. The cumulative effects of historical livestock grazing are discussed in the light of studies investigating the influences of predation and livestock grazing on faunal declines.