DINGO CONCERNS: A wild Fraser Island dingo on the beach.
DINGO CONCERNS: A wild Fraser Island dingo on the beach. Contributed

Dingo deaths raise concerns of 'cull'

FRASER Island's dingo population may be more unstable because of management practices which have seen more than 100 of the animals "culled” in the past decade.

The Department of National Parks however said there had been no culling of dingoes on the island.

Save Fraser Island Dingoes spokeswoman Cheryl Bryant disagreed, citing the findings of a CSIRO research paper Managing dingoes on Fraser Island: culling, conflict and an alternative.

"Since the cull of 2001 when over 30 animals were inhumanely shot, dingoes continue to be destroyed, animals considered a threat to human safety are either shot or given a lethal injection,” Ms Bryant said.

"Over 100 dingoes would have been removed in the past decade, this does not take into account the number of animals that succumb to natural causes and human interference such as vehicle strikes, which are becoming more prevalent.”

Ms Bryant said the paper indicated: "the destruction of alleged 'problem' dingoes on the island may have had a substantial destabilising effect on dingo social structures, (resulting in) heightened stress, elevated breeding rates and fatal dispersal of poorly socialised juveniles into neighbouring pack territories.”

The Department of National Parks said the dingo population study strongly suggests a current population of about 200 dingoes live on Fraser in up to 30 packs.

It said any dingo identified as high risk may be euthanised but this is not culling which is "a proactive reduction of animal numbers to try to reduce an animal population.”

"Dingo management on the island is supported by an active dingo working group including many dingo experts, scientists and wildlife welfare organisations,” the department said.



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