There is widespread killing of dingoes pastoral leases in the NT with broad-scale 1080 poisoning, as well as trapping and shooting. This is happening because of the two misunderstandings:
1. Most canines in the wild are domestic dogs or hybrids, not pure dingoes
2. Poisoning dingoes prevents dingo attacks on calves
Neither is true.
Dingos are not wild dogs
In Australia the term ‘wild dog’ is used to describe dingoes, feral domestic dogs as well as hybrids of these.
However, research shows at least 90 to 99% of ‘wild dogs’ in the NT are purebred dingoes. The purity of the Northern Territory dingo population is of important national conservation value.
Dingoes support healthy arid ecosystems
As apex predators’ dingoes influence the abundance of many species of plants and animals across multiple levels within ecosystems. Dingoes suppress feral predators (cats and foxes) through direct predation and indirect interference (cats and foxes avoid them), as a result a healthy Dingo population is good for small to medium-sized mammals, reptiles and birds. Dingoes also regulate numbers of feral herbivores like rabbits. The impact of dingoes has been shown to have a wide range of cascading effects on plants.
Crucially, lethal control of dingoes does not reduce cattle mortality in the NT.
In fact, a growing body of consistent evidence shows that most of the time dingo control practices – that is, the widespread slaughter of dingos – have little benefit to beef producers in arid environments.
Dingoes are culturally important
Aboriginal communities and dingoes have a complex, symbiotic relationship that crosses physical and spiritual realms.
"Dingoes are important in our Dreaming. Out in the bush dingoes helped us hunt and find water… Dingoes can live without people…They can smell water and hunt very well. They are an important part of keeping country healthy."
This campaign was produced by Letters for the Environment Central Australia.
Cover image: Tbjornstad, Wiki Commons