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QPWS reveals dingo incidents on the rise at Fraser Island

MORE ENCOUNTERS: Rangers say high-risk interactions between dingoes and humans are increasing on Fraser Island. A 'closely-monitored' dingo was destroyed in February after it bit a female tourist on the leg at Kingfisher Bay resort.
MORE ENCOUNTERS: Rangers say high-risk interactions between dingoes and humans are increasing on Fraser Island. A 'closely-monitored' dingo was destroyed in February after it bit a female tourist on the leg at Kingfisher Bay resort. Brett Wortman

A SPIKE in threatening interactions with dingoes on Fraser Island has been revealed by rangers.

The research from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service counted threatening interactions, which "includes growling, snarling or dominant behaviour toward humans", and high-risk interactions including "lunging or bailing up a person, nipping, biting, or attacking".

The number of high-risk interactions increased by a staggering 185.7% from 2015 to 2016, and the number of high-risk interactions from January 1 to April 6 is already more than 2015.

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Four dingoes have been euthanised so far this year: three were sick or injured, while one was a high-risk.

A "closely-monitored" dingo bit a female tourist, who stayed at the Kingfisher Bay resort, on the leg on Fraser Island's western beach on February 28.

"A dingo was humanely destroyed on Fraser Island following a number of aggressive incidents," a QPWS spokesperson said.

"QPWS rangers had been closely monitoring the dingo after it was involved in a number of threatening encounters over recent months in the Kingfisher Bay area.

"This was the latest in a series of incidents in which the dingo not only demonstrated aggressive behaviour, but also repeatedly managed to enter the fenced-off resort.

"It was determined that the dingo presented an unacceptable risk, and the decision was made to capture and humanely destroy the animal."

Three sick dingoes were humanely destroyed on veterinarians' advice in late February, but the QPWS spokesperson stressed that it was not linked to the poisoning of six dingoes in June last year.

Toxicology results found that those dingoes were deliberately poisoned with strychnine.

The QPWS spokesperson said a scientific study conducted in 2011 estimated Fraser Island's dingo population to be about 100-200 individuals.

"Studies also indicate that dingo numbers vary naturally depending on the seasons," the spokesperson said.

"Numbers increase after breeding and subsequently decline due to natural attrition, as is the case with all native wildlife in natural settings.

"Pack sizes vary across seasons and years according to the amount of vacant territories and supply of natural food.

"It is not possible to simply count a population such as dingoes that are constantly moving around their territories in often natural wilderness terrain."

Dingoes on Fraser Island are protected as part of the wildlife of the Great Sandy National Park and a dingo management strategy has been in place since 2001.

The current Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy was implemented in 2013.

Topics:  dingoes fcdingoes fcwildlife fraser island qpws


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