Dingoes are a hopping mouse's best friend

A dusky hopping mouse. Image: Ben Moore

Endangered dusky hopping mice are happiest living around dingoes because more of the native dogs means fewer dangerous feral cats, according to Australian scientists.

The researchers, reporting their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, say the native rodents are less timid when foraging in areas where dingoes are common.

“Our study reveals that apex predators can alleviate the danger that smaller predators pose to their prey and also alleviate prey species’ perception of danger,” writes researcher Christopher E. Gordon of the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, and colleagues.

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