Tuesday 28 February 2017

The Power of a Dingo Experience and the Internet

Bargo Dingo Sanctuary photo by George Petrovsky (c)

I met George Petrovsky when I joined my local branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and we became friends.

He regularly shares this blog and recently he joined a Google+ Community called Dog of the Day. It is a Russian language page. George not only shared his photo on the page but translated the Humane Society International article “5 Reasons to Love Dingoes” into Russian and included it in his post. In less than a day his post received 59 likes. George is helping to spread the word on the other side of the globe. Thank you George.

It is important that the dingo situation is promoted overseas; not just here at home. The power of quality, personal interactions with dingoes combined with the power of the internet is vital to the dingo cause.

An education program that included guided information tours of Merigal Dingo Sanctuary and attending functions, events and schools with dingoes was something that Berenice Walters always advocated as being essential to convert the public to understanding and supporting our dingo.

Every little positive experience retold on social media and websites and the sharing of knowledge worldwide is so much easier today than in Berenice’s time. it is vital we keep sharing and reposting these moments. I am both surprised and delighted at the number of overseas supporters the Dingo Lady Facebook page has.

Some of sanctuaries and organisations across Australia that actively encourage dingo experiences are the West Australian Dingo Association, the Dingo Care Network, the Dingo Discovery Centre, Bushland Dingo Haven, Potoroo Palace Native Animal Sanctuary, Bargo Dingo Sanctuary, Durong Dingo Sanctuary and Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary.

There are others but I know that those listed are quality, knowledgeable experiences. Any I have omitted to list is because I have not experienced them, I have not heard any positive comment or a poor quality/uninformed experience was reported. I have no objection to anyone adding their experiences providing you can confirm the quality of the experience and accuracy of information.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Three books on the Dingo by Berenice Walters.

Berenice’s first book, published in 1980, was titled Dingo: Dog of Australia was. It was a simple little book but the first of its type; that is, a positive book about the dingo written in simple terms by a layperson.

Her second book, Dingo: Getting a Good Dog a Better Name, published in 1984 with a revised edition in 1990, was more in-depth and included a chapter on the results of Berenice’s research into the relationship between the Dingo and the Aborigines at the time of white settlement. It also included a selection of poems that had been printed in the Society’s magazine, Merigal.

Her third publication, the Company of Dingoes: Two decades with our native dog native dog was published in 1995.

It contained much of the information from Dingo: Getting a Good Dog a Better Name. However, the section on biology and ecology based largely on research undertaken by Corbett, Whitehouse and Harden was replaced with detailed information based on observations of the Dingoes at the Merigal Dingo Education Centre on Berenice’s property.

Ideas on Dingo preservation are discussed with a less prescriptive and more open-ended approach.

Although it was professionally printed the photos were badly re-produced. It had been printed in black and white, not greyscale. I remember Berenice crying for days with disappointment over the quality of the finished product.

Professor Colin Groves, Professor of Biological Anthropology at the Australian National University in Canberra, reviewed both Dingo: Getting a Good Dog a Better Name and Company of Dingoes: Two decades with our native dog native dog giving both books, and Berenice herself, high praise.


Tuesday 7 February 2017

The Truth about Dingoes: 3

Ecology and diet

Dingoes are opportunistic carnivores and have a broad diet. Their consumption of carrion significantly aids the natural ecology.

In remote areas, Dingoes form stable packs of anything from 3-12 individuals that collectively occupy a territory. The territory size of a pack varies with habitat and the availability of prey. Most dingoes remain close to their area of birth, but young males can disperse tens and even hundreds of kilometres.

The diet of dingoes varies according to prey abundance and availability; prey ranges in size from mice to buffalo. Kangaroos are also an important prey item. Dingoes prey heavily on rabbits where they are present and also suppress feral pigs, goats and foxes. 

There is evidence that dingoes suppress the abundance and/ or activity of feral cats, which benefits native animals threatened by cat predation.

They mostly hunt alone or sometimes in pairs and form hunting packs when hunting on larger prey.

Their natural diet is kangaroo, wallaby, rabbit, reptiles, insects, possum, wombat, birds, eggs, fox, goat, pig and buffalo. Aquatic life if available.

Dingoes are generalist predators as, although they prey primarily upon mammals, they will readily switch their diet according to prey availability.

When they are abundant, rabbits, macropods and vombatids are important prey items, along with fruits and grasses.

But Dingoes also prey heavily on rodents, water birds  and will kill and catch foxes, cats, lizards, birds, goats and pigs.

Information reproduced with permission from http://jennyleeparker3.wixsite.com/aussie-canis-dingo