Australian Elephants a Possibility?
Australia hasn’t had the best of luck with animal introductions, with disastrous encounters with cane toads, camels, rabbits, and various formerly domesticated animals, but could this record change with the introduction of one more, large species?
One ecologist argues that it would be beneficial to introduce African Elephants the northern regions of the continent, in an interview with New Scientist. After the introduction of gamba grass from Africa, countless forest fires have ravaged the wilderness of Australia, causing the destruction of 5% of Australian grassland, as this grass is both highly invasive and highly flammable. The worst of these bush fires occurred in 2009, known as the Black Saturday bush fires, which were accountable for the deaths of 173 people. However, this grass is also the main food source for these elephants.
David Bowman of the University of Tasmania, argues that successfully controlling these grasses is “unimaginable” without the aid of large herbivores. With the large, native marsupials having gone extinct, it has become necessary to introduce non-native species.
And the conservationists wouldn’t have to simply let the elephants loose and allow them to run free, as these giant mammals could be sterilized or tracked by GPS. His idea only suggests that elephants be release in the northern regions of Australia, as the monsoon conditions would be very favorable for elephants.
And the reactions of colleagues? Not too positive. Read about them here.