Dr. Alan Wilton (1953-2011) Prominent Australian Geneticist, Assoc. Professor of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of NSW. Dr. Wilton devoted much of his academic life in studying the ancestry and significance of the dingo in Australia.
“ The dingo is possibly the oldest breed of dog in the world.”
“ The pure dingo in Australia could be extinct within 50 years.”
“ Born 2008 destroyed 2011.”
“..they are the only australian native classed as vermin, how sad that such a noble and loving companion is now regarded as a pest, it is not just cruel but a betrayal of the highest order” Unknown.
“Dingoes have been held in a time capsule since they were brought to Australia 5,000 years ago and since then have been running around the continent,” The Times.
The last pure Dingo populations remaining in coastal Australia are probably in the national parks between the Great Dividing Range and the east coast, and on Fraser Island.” Qld Museum.
The situation was disgusting and an International disgrace. 70% of the 100 to 120 dogs left on the Island were malnourished, the population could be wiped out within years.” Ray Revill. Former Island Ranger.
The Fraser Island Dingo.
CONTACT SFID: firstname.lastname@example.org
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CONSERVE, PROTECT, RESPECT.
Fraser Island, (K’Gari) lies off the coast of Queensland, Australia, approx. 300k north of Brisbane. It is the largest sand Island in the world with an area of 1840km². The Island is over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point.
Fraser Island was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992 due to its outstanding natural and cultural values, (see criteria). The dingo is an integral part of this unique environment and has significant conservation value due to the following:
1. As Top Order predator on the Island, the dingo is vital in maintaining the health and balance of the ecosystem.
2.The Fraser Island dingo adds to the value of the Island as a major international tourist attraction, it is one of few places where visitors may get the chance to observe a dingo in its natural habitat.
3.The Fraser Island dingo is also genetically unique because of its isolation from the mainland, and therefore we have an obligation to ensure that this genetic integrity is preserved.
The Butchulla are one of three tribes indigenous to Fraser Island and have been resident for at least 5000 years, archaeological evidence suggests occupation could possibly be up to 50,000 years. Prior to European settlement the Fraser Island dingo lived in harmony with the Butchulla and were an intrinsic part of camp life, they held a significant place in their spiritual and cultural practices. This relationship was broken after European settlement and the Butchulla were eventually removed from the Island. The last mission was closed in 1904 and now there only remain a handful of surviving descendants.
As the law stands today the Butchulla cannot have their camp dingoes or interact with them in any way.
The dingo arrived in Australia between 4,000 and 18,000 years ago and under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 is a declared indigenous species and classed as native wildlife. Sections 17 and 62 of the Act also provide for the legal protection of the dingo as a natural resource in protected areas such as World Heritage listed Fraser Island.
Classified by the IUCN Red list (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as a ‘vulnerable’ species, the dingo is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.
World Heritage listing resulted in an over whelming increase in both domestic and International visitors. The Island dingoes have come under ever increasing pressure due to ever expanding tourism.
The mortality rate from vehicle strikes continues to rise.
Visitors interfering and attempting to interact with dingoes can lead to human /dingo conflict. Whilst encounters with dingoes can be positive, those deemed to be negative result in animals being euthanased.
Dingo deaths can compromise the stability of the pack structure.
The controversial use of ear tags to identify individual dingoes can result in deformed or ‘floppy’ ears.
Debate continues regarding supplementary feeding of dingoes during periods of extreme famine on the Island. A severe shortage of food, due to climate change or other factors, could place the population at risk. Visitor’s should NEVER feed dingoes.
The environmental impact of tourism and the strategies to maintain a viable and sustainable dingo population are constantly under scrutiny. The challenge remains, is Fraser Island to be managed for the benefit of human visitors or are human visitors to be managed for the benefit and preservation of the wildlife? FACT SHEET.