Group believe Fraser Island's dingoes at risk

SAVE Fraser Island Dingoes Incorporated believe that Fraser Island's pure-bred dingoes are at risk from genetic inbreeding and believe an independent DNA study is needed urgently.

Save Fraser Island Dingoes Incorporated's Cheryl Bryant told the Daily Mail that the organisation didn't believe the Queensland government's Fraser Island dingo population figures, which say there have been 100 to 200 dingoes on Fraser Island at any time since 1990.

"We don't trust their figures, to be honest," she said.

"We really don't know if that's accurate or not and we don't feel that it's a reliable study.

"We would like an independent study, possibly by a university not associated very closely with government funding."

Ms Bryant said the dingo group were concerned that if action wasn't taken soon enough the species could dwindle and potentially disappear from the island.

"Anything could happen to upset the population so we're very concerned about the population because being isolated during a disease outbreak could wipe them out completely," she said.

"We would like some studies on the genetic viability of the animals because if their genetic viability is compromised then the population is compromised, so that's possibly even more important than the number of dingoes on the island."

The dingo watchdog group's comments come after Queensland's National Parks and Wildlife Service recorded the 160th instance where someone has tried to interact with a dingo on the island.

A 65-year-old Caboolture man was convicted and fined $500 in Maryborough magistrate's court on Thursday, after he pleaded guilty to one count of feeding a dangerous animal.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service executive director Neil Cambourn said on October 3 2014, rangers saw the man throw bread at the dingo.

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Mr Cambourn said these sorts of interactions with dingoes had a negative affect on the dingo population which didn't help dwindling numbers.

"It's important to remember that dingoes are wild, dangerous animals capable of injuring people and should be treated as such," he said.

"Since 1999 QPWS has recorded more than 160 high-risk interactions between humans and dingoes on Fraser Island.

"Fed dingoes associate humans with food, become bold, and may attack humans. In that case, the dogs have to be humanely destroyed.

"We urge Fraser Island residents and visitors to follow the rules for their own safety and the safety of others."

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