The Asian Water Buffalo was introduced to Port Essington in the Northern Territory by the English soldiers stationed there, as a
source of milk and meat. Unfortunately the soft Poms couldn't stand the remote outpost (no internet connection) and abandoned
the settlement shortly afterwards, turning the Water Buffalo loose. Unlike the pale malnourished Brits who introduced them, the
Water buffalo thrived in their new environment (lots of food and no tigers) and over the next century they proliferated becoming a
major environmental disaster (and an important source of food for the indigenous population). They created swim channels
across the fragile wetlands that drained them in the dry season and flooded them with salt water during king tides,
and the Water Buffalo consumed so much plant material they changed the traditional fire regimes that the local Aboriginal People
had been using for thousands of years. Conscientious wildlife rangers shot them when they could, but the numbers were
overwhelming until it was discovered that the beasts carried Brucelosis and Tuberculosis. The USA beef producers had been
looking for an excuse to shut out Australian imports and this was the perfect excuse. The Water Buffalo went from an
environmental issue to an economic issueand money was thrown at their eradication. They were almost exterminated in Australia
until simple tests for both diseases were developed and the Brucelosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign was wound back.
Now the numbers are bouncing back and Water Buffalo are going to be a major environmental issue once again.