Sheepdogs guard endangered penguins
The two dogs are credited with keeping dangerous prey at bay.
Seven years ago, a pair of Maremma sheepdogs got a new assignment: to keep invasive red foxes away from endangered Little Penguins on Australia’s Middle Island. And it’s working.
Since 2006, the population of the world’s smallest penguin species has skyrocketed from 10 to 200.
According to a report by the Nature Glenelg Trust, which monitors the project, no foxes have killed penguins during that time.
The dogs, which were bred to guard against wolves in Italy, scared the baby penguins at first when they tried to herd them back to their nests — but that behavior was quickly changed.
— Read it at Live Science
More from Vetstreet:
20 dog breeds sadly losing popularity in America
6 facts about penguins you may not know
June is the time to celebrate animals
Going to chimp camp
10 most dangerous human foods for pets
Photo: Two Maremma sheepdogs have helped keep foxes from endangered penguins on an Australian island. / Middle Island Maremma Project
As a citizen of the west, I have to say that guarding against wolves and guarding against foxes are two very different things. One or two dogs are useless against wolves who outweigh the dogs and are more likely in a pack. Not only that, wolves will track down dogs just to kill them. Call Fish & Game and ask. They will tell you.
However, for this situation, I think the dog idea is great! For very little cost you have increased the population of these fairy penguins. Of course, there are always those that don't care if a species goes extinct or just want to shoot and kill to solve things. Way to go for an innovative solution.
I'm glad we're finally taking endangered species seriously. This sounds like a great idea that is working.
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
Take a look at your house for these telltale signs that a cat is running the show.
Check out this list of requirements you should meet before getting a new puppy or adult dog.
Much like their famous owners, these pooches live a fabulous life. Some are rescues, others purebred, but one thing is certain – these dogs play an important part in their famous parents' lives. Can you guess who owns each of these dogs?
Pets are part of many children's lives. Learn how to help them foster strong, healthy relationships.
If you live with a feline companion, you know that cats can be quirky and totally entertaining. (Even if they'd never admit it in a million, trillion years.) Here are just a few of our favorite cat-isms, some with sandpaper tongue firmly in cheek. Did we miss any of yours?
Tummy troubles in your four-legged friends? Carrageenan in their pet food may be to blame.
There's more to choosing the perfect dog for your family than walking into a shelter and saying, "Find me one that looks like the dog from Marley and Me." Choosing a dog is more like buying a car. You want one that isn't just good looking, but is also a perfect fit for your family and lifestyle (and won't leak in the garage). Here are 8 great tips to help you determine the perfect pooch for your pack. By Jeremy Greenberg
CEO says, "it was one of the best ideas of my life"
Before you jump into marriage counseling, take a look at our list to see if you truly do love your dog more than your spouse.
Spring break isn't just for humans anymore. Cats and dogs know how to have fun in the sun, too, and would love to tag along on your vacation. In honor of the warm and relaxing days ahead, here are 15 pets catching some rays, going on hikes and floating in the pool.
Injuries often happen when dogs are outside chasing tennis balls or playing at dog parks. Because yours needs regular exercise, it can be difficult to protect him from many accidents.
When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best dog for you may be a larger breed. Big dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Saint Bernards can become a child's protector, adventure buddy and best friend. Check out this slideshow to see nine large breeds that can be good for families.