Monday 11 January 2016

Dingo advocates need to be a more united force.

In her first book written in 1979 Berenice Walters observed: "In areas where the dingo has been eradicated, there has been an alarming build-up of grass eating species, indicating the importance of the role played by our native dog in maintaining the delicate balance of nature." 

She continues: "The dingo is classed as a noxious animal throughout Australia, its extermination is mandatory and its keeping by private individuals is illegal. Prior to 1966, no comprehensive scientific study had been made of the dingo. Its reputation as a predator of domestic stock, based largely on exaggerated reports, pure supposition and myth, led to the cruel and unnecessary persecution of this native Australian."

At the time there were only a handful of people like Berenice who were passionate about getting the Dingo a better name but most thought she was crazy to believe that this hated and wanton killer had any redeeming traits. 

Today there are many more who believe in the Dingo and are working hard to promote its true gentle, loving characteristics; its vital role as the apex predator and the need for it to be acknowledged and protected as an Australian animal.

She would be very proud of those who are fighting so hard on its behalf and elated at its relatively new taxonomy of Canis Dingo. She would be sitting back with a smile as more and more scientists and academics come forward proving what the early Dingo supporters believed.

Yet I believe that there is one area that she would be very disappointed and that is the lack of unity of Dingo supporters. There are many more now than in Berenice's time and yet we are still fighting for the same things she and her contemporaries did.

Along with most other people who cherish the dingo I want to see its national recognition, preservation and acceptance of its role as apex predator.  I am sure that every dingo person agrees on these points:

The dingo has been maligned for far too long and deserves to take its rightful place as a uniquely Australian animal and be protected at a national level.

The dingo’s role as an apex predator preserves other declining species and helps reduce feral species that prey on small threatened marsupials. 

 Where control of wild dogs, or any feral or invasive species for that matter, is required it needs to be undertaken using kind control methods.  We need to get the barbaric trapping, shooting and poisoning out of this country.

Where I have concern is that it appears to me some dingo advocates, including some dingo preservation groups, have private agendas and put their own personal aims before that of the national issues.

For the sake of the dingo we need to put aside personal differences and make the dingo itself the highest priority.


  1. I strongly agree with Berenice and that so many of us need to put aside the ego's and unite as one strong force to be successful in making the necessary changes in seeing the dingo a protected species or otherwise they will be continued to be persecuted. We all have the same ideas and goals and we must work together!

  2. Well stated, I agree in principle.
    Sadly many people say they want unity then don't follow through or say it for the appearance of saying it then don't practice it !!
    I was very happy to have had success last year with my petition to get the Dingo listed on the Atlas of living Australia directory , a lot of wonderful people helped by signing and promoting the petition. The petition came from a National dingo campaign, instigated and encouraged, by Dr Jane Goodall in 2014. With such a high profile name I thought this would help the dingoes and the publicity did ,with the success of this petition, which also got aired and promoted on a TV program all from Dr Jane's G's good name and reputation.
    But many dingo groups and individuals were critical and did not unite under such a high profile name? I couldn't understand why? Every avenue helps surely!
    Getting listed in the Australian directory, is a victory and a positive step forward and a win for the Dingoes.
    Having Canis Dingo listed in Academia is important, as the classification will now shift the perception that Dingoes are a sub-species of dogs or wolves and is an Australian species in its own right.
    It now means that all researchers /scientists , university papers ,here and Internationally, have to now publish under the accepted taxonomy, Canis Dingo .
    The dingo is now definitively classified as a distinct Australian animal, Canis dingo and recognised as Australia's apex predator, valuable for the health and balance of our environment.
    There is still a lot more work to do and a lot of hurdles and the biggest barrier is gov federal an state and the wool industry and farmer's lobby. Unity to help this unique beautiful animal is so important.

    1. Hi Marie S. I have just made a comment on the Dingoes are Not Dogs Facebook page which I have just noticed you have seen but for other readers this is what I write: I am amazed my blog has generated so much discussion but I am also very happy about it. My statement about unity seems to have triggered most comment. Yes it has been said before, yes it is almost an impossible dream but neither are good reasons to stop talking about it and hoping that some day it is achievable. I've spent enough years involved in a variety of organisations to know that whether you put a group of five people together for a cause or 5000 there will always be differences of opinion, personal agendas and internal politics but it shouldn't a reason to stop trying and keep reminding ourselves what is needed from us for the sake of the Dingo

    2. Unity comes it seems, with difficulty for some.
      I recall the meeting with Dr Jane Goodall in Melbourne, nobody from the dingo groups, SFID or NDPRP were in fact told of the meeting so I think Marie's claims are a little misleading.
      The Australian Fauna Directory has not in fact been changed. Sorry, but it will take a lot more than an online Petition to bring about such significant change.
      From the Australian Faunal Directory on 14/1/2016: 'Currently, the AFD lists the dingo as having the scientific name Canis familiaris Linnaeus, 1758 (in green at the top of the page). The other names on the list with all the references information (C. dingo, C. antarticus, C. australia..
      While Crowther's article is quoted and his taxon of Canis Dingo referred to, other Taxon's are used by other scientists, there is in fact no obligation upon anybody to use any nomenclature. It is important that published material be factual and not simply wishful.

  3. I would imagine that the lovely Berenice Walters, the Dingo Lady, would have smiled and been pleased that the world renowned Dr Jane Goodall loves and support the Australian dingo. :) See:-

    1. Oh how I wish I could have seen them together but at the same time I don't think my brain would have had the energy to stay in the same room once these amazing ladies started to get their heads together :-)

  4. There should be dingo hunting sabotage groups.