By Matt Romania
An organisation committed to the conservation of Australia’s native dingoes is on a mission.
Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Toolern Vale, the Australian Dingo Foundation, a not-for-profit operates the 40-acre Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre with a primary aim to correct distorted information, uphold the reputation of dingoes, and continue conversations about how dingo conservation and landholders can coexist.
Kevin Newman from the Foundation said the aim is to educate, conserve and conduct non-invasive research about and for dingoes.
“Despite their significance, dingoes certainly do have a PR problem,” he said.
“Dingoes have unique characteristics, including their breeding cycle, intelligent nature, monogamous relationships, and importantly, their native status in Australia.”
Recent studies support this, showing most dingoes in Australia are purebred, unjustly labeled as ‘wild dogs.’ Dingoes have been integral to Australia for over 5,000 years. As per the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act(EPBC), any animal existing before 1400 AD in Australia is legally considered native. Dingoes fall into this category and are protected on public land, but not on private property or within 3km of private property.
Mr Newman said conservation of dingoes is vital, given their ecological importance in Australia.
“The dingo’s role in indigenous dreamtime stories underscores their cultural significance, contributing to their status as an iconic Australian species. As the apex land mammal in Australia, the dingo plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature by controlling populations of large herbivores and introduced pests. Their importance is recognised by their listing as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Wildlife Act 1975.”
Learn more about the Australian Dingo Foundation’s work – or get involved as volunteer or sponsor – at https://dingofoundation.org
Misconceptions revolving around dingoes.
• They are not just wild dogs; they’re a separate species with unique behavioural and physiological characteristics.
• Dingoes don’t pose a significant threat to humans and avoid human contact unless habituated.
• They aren’t responsible for large scale livestock deaths – domestic dogs and foxes often have a greater impact.
• Most importantly, they are indeed native to Australia, their genetic diversity varying across different regions.