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Land: introduced species

Animals and plants introduced to Australia since white settlement have had a dramatic effect on South Australia's landscape and native flora and fauna. Animals such as cats, rabbits, foxes, sparrows and blackbirds were introduced as a reminder of life 'at home' in Britain. Others like camels, horses and donkeys were introduced as working animals but as times changed, and they were replaced by machines, they were often set free and have continued to breed in large numbers. Other domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep are the mainstay of the meat and wool industry but past over-population by these animals has had a detrimental effect upon the land.

Introduced plants have also caused damage: blackberry, introduced as a useful fruit, has been widely dispersed by fruit eating birds and has taken over in many parts providing thick tangled growth for rabbits and foxes to find cover in. Olive trees infest gullies and are again spread by fruit eating birds. Salvation Jane (or Paterson's Curse as it is called interstate) was introduced from Europe in the 19th century, has infested paddocks and is toxic to horses sheep and cattle. Biological controls are being used to manage it. Soursobs cover the hills in winter and spring, an attractive yellow carpet. However the persistent bulbs blanket the soil and smother any competition from native plants or pasture grasses. Again they are toxic to sheep, kangaroos and other animals. African boxthorn and prickly pear are other introduced plants that pose problems.

Camel herd grazing
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Camel in the Simpson Desert
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Feral pig
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Foxes
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Mouse plague
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Ostrich farm north of Port Augusta
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Protecting birds from a cat
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Rabbits dead from lack of water
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Rabbits effect on the landscape
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Rabbits killed over two nights on a Ninnes farm
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Sheep being fed during a drought
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Wild goats at Yardea
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