Donkeys dig deep in the desert, benefiting overall ecosystem

Sonkey digging a deep hole in the desert to get water

An Arizona State University doctoral candidate has discovered that horses, donkeys and other equine species, which are seen as “invasive,” actually help shape desert ecosystems, fulfilling the same function long-extinct species once did. The feral equines sniff out water and dig wells that are used by other wildlife.

Erick Lundgren, a doctoral candidate in the School of Life Sciences, led the study, Equids engineer desert water availability, recently published in the journal Science. Sustainability scientists Julie Stromberg, Jianguo Wu, as well as Karla Moeller of the Provost’s office are the other authors from ASU.

Read the full story in ASU News.

Michelle schwartz