News

Calls for problem Fraser Island dingoes to be desexed

A FRASER Island World Heritage Area Advisory Committee member has suggested desexing problem dingoes after 10 incidents of threatening behaviour were recorded on the island during the school holidays.

Conservationist Mike West visited the island with his wife just before the start of school holidays and saw signs there could be problems while he was there.

While camping in the bush, he knew it was likely dingoes were around but, because of their natural fear of humans, he never saw any of the animals.

Back at Eurong, however, it was a different story, with several dingoes having lost their natural fear of humans and therefore having regular interactions, Mr West said.

One breeding pair in particular had become habituated after being fed by people, he said.

While the older dingo pair did not tend to have negative interactions with people, their pups were more likely to, especially as they went through adolescence without a healthy fear of humans, Mr West said.

He suggested that since the adult dingoes were unlikely to be a threat to humans, desexing the animals and preventing a second generation of dingoes from having dangerous interactions with humans was a solution that would work.

Mr West said because there were still many dingos that did not interact with humans, that would not impact on the dingo population on the island.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Ross Belcher said there were six more incidents than last year's school holiday period.

Mr Belcher said people needed to stay away from the dingoes and keep a close eye on their children.

"What really worries us is that young children, in particular, are within that size the dingo sort of has in their range of prey and it's also when young dingoes are learning to hunt and when those risks coincide with high visitor numbers, like the school holidays, that's when we have a really busy time trying to control interactions between humans and dingoes," he said.

"We've had 10 incidents, what we call those threatening incidents, and we're very lucky that we didn't get any sort of high-risk incidents but there's always that potential."

Topics:  conservationist desexing dingoes fraser island fraser island dingoes



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