The aboriginal Martu people in Australia often set fire to patches of brush to flush out sand monitor lizards, an important staple in their diet. Now, researchers from the University of Utah and Stanford University have found that hill kangaroos, another of the Martu people’s hunting targets, benefit from eating the tender new plants that spring up in the fires’ wake, they report online today in Human Ecology. The remaining patches of old brush also provide cover, helping kangaroos hide from predators. The researchers recommend that small-scale burning be incorporated into Australia’s wildlife conservation plans.
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