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Mules and wild horses increase biodiversity by digging water wells

Mules and wild horses increase biodiversity by digging water wells

Aarhus University, Denmark’s Eric Lewandgren and colleagues have closely observed four springs in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona. Although these springs burst from the ground, they soon dry up. But a team of scientists inspected the springs several times in the summer of 2015, 2016 and 2018 and found that donkeys and horses in the area dug wells to draw groundwater.

Eric says it’s a very hot and dry desert and there are many magical places where you can see fresh water.
Horses and donkeys dig a pit to a depth of two meters which can be called a well. The research team observed 59 species of vertebrates at the wells, of which 57 were drinking water from the wells. Interestingly, in areas where wells were common, 51 more species were observed than in other barren areas, which were recorded in both places during the same period.

The animals included deer, squirrels, quail, black bears and other animals, which shows how and how many species used these water resources. Wells have also been identified as an important source of plant growth, including papyrus, oak, and other useful species. In this way, donkeys and horses also play an important role in making a desert green.

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