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The Desert Rat-Kangaroo - Essay Example

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This paper “The Desert Rat-Kangaroo” describes the desert rat-kangaroo, which was discovered in the 1840s and previously common in the desert areas of Central Australia, and was officially listed as extinct under the 1999 Act of Environmental Protection and Biodiversity…
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The Desert Rat-Kangaroo
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Download file to see previous pages Although the desert environment is harsh, the desert rat kangaroo had adapted to the conditions and survived in the ecosystem until interference in its natural habitat contributed majorly to its extinction. Humans were both directly and indirectly involved in the alteration of the mammal’s natural habitat by introducing herbivores such as rabbits and cattle, setting off an imbalance in the ecosystem. Fire regimes also played a key role in the destruction of the habitat (Fisher & Blomberg, 2010). Although the rat kangaroo was largely independent of water, there was increased competition for green plant with beetles. Other factors for its extinction include predation by foxes and cats. Since they were relatively small and hence vulnerable to predators, much of their self defense was in the ability to make high and quick leaps. The extinction of the desert rat kangaroo did not impact on the desert food chain significantly mainly because it was a replaceable species. More importantly, they were not direct competitors of surface water with any other species because all their water requirements were met by the water contained in the green plants in their diet. Being herbivorous animals, their role in the ecosystem was gradually assumed by cattle as the rat kangaroo’s population diminished. However, the population of beetles, weevils and other small insects of which the rat kangaroo was a key consumer increased. The most notable difference was a decline in the number of desert fox (Fisher & Blomberg, 2010).
The orangutan is a primate that depends entirely on forests for survival. Unfortunately, high illegal and legal logging and deforestation rates are contributing to its increasingly endangered status. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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