Conservation science points to the importance of dingoes as a top order predator, helping to control both introduced red foxes and feral cats, and fulfilling critical ecosystem functions which actually help to protect other threatened native species. And yet they are threatened by habitat loss, trapping, poisoning and shooting. Instead of being protected as a threatened species, they are targeted for eradication.
Despite evidence that lethal control programs are largely ineffective as a livestock protection measure and may even exacerbate impacts, dingoes remain in the cross-hairs.
HSI is working to encourage farmers to invest in alternative, effective livestock protection measures such as guardian dogs which would be a win for farmers as well as dingoes and the environment. We are also working to make sure that dingo hybrids (some degree of cross-breeding with domestic dogs) have the same protections as pure dingoes when they are performing the same role as a top predator. Both need legal protection and not to be treated as a pest, and focusing too closely on purity risks losing sight of the bigger picture.
Image: Kevin Autret (Header); Gary Meredith