A Reminder of a Desert’s Past, Before Dingo Removal

As ecologist Mike Letnic trudged up and down the red-orange dunes of the Strzelecki Desert in South Australia, he noticed that his boots sank deep into the sand and his equipment was more likely to be covered in sand when he was on the northern side of what’s known as the Dingo Fence. A 5,614-kilometer barrier, the fence stretches across southeastern Australia and protects sheep flocks from the wild dogs—dingoes are plentiful on the north side of the fence, but very few exist on the southern side.

The contrast intrigued Letnic, a professor at the University of New South Wales’s Centre for Ecosystem Science, and he has dedicated many of his years to studying how the fence and the resulting lack of dingoes on the southern…

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