News

Remote release dingo collars

QPSW Rangers, Renae Kerry and John Dargusch, check the strength of the VHF signal from a collar released from one of the Fraser Island dingoes.
QPSW Rangers, Renae Kerry and John Dargusch, check the strength of the VHF signal from a collar released from one of the Fraser Island dingoes. DERM

FRASER Island National Parks rangers are going to great lengths to retrieve some of the collars that have dropped off island dingoes.

The collars were fitted to 18 island dingoes eight months ago to collect data being analysed by researchers at the University of Queensland for important information on dingo behaviour, including population dynamics and their movement during breeding and non-breeding seasons.

Environment Minister Vicky Darling said rangers and volunteers were collecting the collars after they automatically released on pre-set dates.

The automatic release eliminated any need to recapture the dingo and minimised disturbance of the study group.

She said the collars were valuable and could be reused on Fraser Island or elsewhere.

"Once the collars stop processing GPS data, the searchers have to rely on a VHF radio signal and sight ... a tough task in rough terrain," she said.

"As the searchers look for the collars they also collect dingo scats for study relating to their food, and keep an eye out for tracks of feral cats."

"DERM used remote motion sensing cameras to confirm the collars had been shed," Ms Darling said.

The research program had all of the required ethics approvals and the collars didn't harm the animals or interfere with their normal behaviour.

Ranger in charge of Natural Resources Management on the island Linda Behrendorff said while they knew where the collars dropped off the difficult part was retrieving them.

Two rangers, John Dargusch and Renae Kerry, and a university volunteer have just returned from an expedition to a remote area inland and south of Sandy Cape to retrieve a collar from a male, sub-adult dingo.

Ms Kerry said: "As soon as we got over the first dune, we were confronted with about a kilometre of thick, gnarly coastal vegetation which was a tough to battle through."

There was some respite once they reached Booran sand blow, but then it was another slog along a ridge to where the VHF transmitter led them.

Mr Dargusch said they found the collar only 5m from where the GPS said it would be.

Ms Behrendorff said that dingo had been tracked from Dilli Village, where it had been fitted with the collar, to Sandy Cape, down to Moon Point and back to the cape.

She said they thought they'd find the young dingo in poor condition because it had been travelling between the territories of two dingo packs and they expected it would have been constantly chased and harried.

"It has been seen at Sandy Cape and photographed in magnificent condition," she said.

Ms Behrendorff said not all of the collars were hard to find.

One was retrieved only 40m from a road and one was found in a crab pot.

She said the crab pot owner returned the collar, which had been caught in the funnel of the pot.

"He told us there were dingo paw prints leading away from the pot, so we knew it had escaped."

The next batch of collars had been programmed to drop off at the end of March.

Topics:  animals, derm, fraser island, national parks



Man steals bikinis, coconut oil and magazine

PACKS A PUNCH: The humble coconut is the source of a range of healthful products you can substitute into your cooking and skincare creations.

It is alleged the man also stole from a tip jar

Bush fire extended to multiple acres

QFES, Rural Fire Brigade, Fire Brigade, Emergency Services Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

A grass fire burned to span five acres yesterday in Tinana

Fraser Coast gymnasts take medals from major state comp

Wide Bay Gymnastics Club - Some of the Hervey Bay gymnasts that competed in the Junior State Championships.

Bay gymnasts as young as 7 qualified for state.

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual