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WILL THE DINGO SURVIVE?

Since European settlement in 1788 dingo habitat has become prime agricultural land increasing the interface between a medium sized predator and native livestock.

Consequently, dingo populations have been managed to reduce predation on livestock.

Wild dogs and dingoes living around the fringe of large towns and cities will almost certainly be interacting with free-range domestic dogs.

In rural areas, many domestic dogs are often of working-dog type which when crossed with dingoes can result in offspring looking very similar to that of a pure dingo.

Lost hunting dogs and feral domestic dogs are experienced hunters and have the ability to survive. If they are large enough and strong enough to defend themselves against a small pack of smaller built dogs, they may then become a pack member.

If a large, strong, dominant 45 kg domestic dog came into contact with an urban fringe/semi-rural dingo pair in the breeding season, the size and fight of the domestic dog may be too much for the 15 kg male dingo to defend. If the female dingo is in season, her pups may possibly be sired by the large domestic dog. DNA research has demonstrated that the female dingo will seek a feral/wild dog mate in the absence of her own kind.

Raised by a wild dingo mother, the crossbred pups will have a better chance of survival . As the crossbred pups mature, they may now be physically larger and stronger than pure dingoes. As first generation crossbreds, the females may have the ability to reproduce twice a year instead of having a dingo breeding season.

Not dingo 1Not dingo2


Not dingo 3Not dingo 4

Above are four wild dogs that appear dingo-like in size and shape.

The larger crossbreds may dominate a pack or be more successful in a fight due to their added size advantage. They will then breed and disperse, spreading the now crossbred genetics through the dingo population.

Young or outcast dingo/wild dogs may follow rivers, creeks, gullies and man made tracks in order to disperse and find a new territory and or a mate. Dingo/wild dogs can travel many kilometers in a night.

Latest research on wild populations in areas of South Eastern Australia has resulted in finding only scattered individual pure dingoes remaining in hybridized packs. Entire pure colonies of animals are non-existent or extremely rare. (A.Wilton et al)

90% of wild dogs today are not pure dingoes. They are cross-bred with domestic dogs.

"The insidiousness of transmission of dog genes in a dingo population is comparing it to a drop of ink in a bucket of water, eventually all the water turns blue." (Extracts from a letter by Dr. D. Jenkins)

Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ selects the animals best suited for the environment creating wild dogs that appear dingo-like in size and shape.

The dingo is now listed on the International Union for Conservation Nature and Natural Resources Red List as Vulnerable (2004).

The dingo has been declared as a threatened species in the State of Victoria since 2008.

The Colong Colony in NSW conserves the last remnant population of the South Eastern Highland dingoes (as a captive group).

The ADCA is working with scientists, conservationists and government agencies to conserve dingoes in other areas. The Association is working towards changing the status of the dingo in all states and to have one national identity for the dingo as Native Fauna and the protection of the dingo with this status.