Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Truth about Dingoes 13: Using the dingo to Restore Ecosystems

Dingoes help restore ecosystems, and WITHOUT protection current dingo management is making things worse for graziers.

Their role has multiple flow-on effects in ecosystems, with history and research showing dingoes have critical roles in controlling other animal populations, namely herbivores and other introduced predators.

In Australia we are only left with one top predator the dingo, which in many parts of Australia if left alone are controlling feral cats, foxes, kangaroos and rabbits. Therefore, its presence has significant positive effects for biodiversity conservation and economics.

Many graziers think that one dingo is too many. But there are quite a few who are aware dingoes eat a large number of kangaroos, which compete with cattle for food and generally leave their cattle alone. They know dingoes also eat wild pigs, which can attack and kill calves.

The problem with attacks on livestock is much more complex. Dingoes have a tight pack structure: there's an alpha male and alpha female, the only ones who breed in a pack, and their offspring learn from them and are territorial. If humans shoot or bait them, we're interfering with that pack structure, and they can't do their job as efficiently. We then are left with uneducated dingoes who then may attack livestock. On top of that, there is increasing hybridisation with domestic dogs - again, a result of human interference. 

For the sake of the dingo and our biodiversity we should cease baiting, trapping and shooting....It's costly and not effective in the long term. There is a solution that is just not given the chance to be tried.

In cattle country, they should just leave the dingo alone. If there are problems with attacks on livestock and graziers have evidence of this, they could potentially set up compensation or subsidies through government. In sheep country they should use guardian dogs, alpacas and donkeys, which would be less costly in the long term economically and environmentally....

 Reproduced, with permission, from the Aussie Canis Dingo Day Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/aussiecanisdingo/

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