Anyone looking for water in the desert should bring a donkey or a horse. Or even better: an elephant. This can be deduced from at least one scientific paper which was recently published in the specialist journal “Science”. has appeared. In it, an international team of researchers investigated the impact of large animals on the ecosystem. Lo and behold: Sooner or later the species refers to digging for water in very dry areas, benefiting small organisms.
In North America, where the team comments were made, the whole thing only works with wild horses and donkeys. But these are reliably dug into two-meter-deep “wells” in the soil of the Sonoran Desert of the US state of Arizona, as revealed by photos from the camera trap. This would have greatly increased the number of water holes for the ungulates and made it easier for other animals to survive.
The behavior of conspirators has long been known in Asia and Africa. Elephants, billy goats and zebras also seek groundwater if they have to. From the authors’ point of view, it is a long-neglected form of landscape maintenance that can help preserve ecosystems during dry periods. But only if large wild animals do not disappear completely: as is well known, their numbers have declined sharply over the past millennia.
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