Dingo research on K'gari (Fraser Island)
22 December 2017
Regarding the article ‘Fraser Island dingo row re-ignites’ in the Gympie Times on 22 December 2017, following is information that the Department of Environment and Science provided to Gympie Times on 21 December 2017.
Please attribute to a Department of Environment and Science spokesperson.
Young dingoes can show play behaviour, and they can also show dominance-testing, which can be mistaken for playing. They are testing their place in the dingo pack. Sometimes this dominance-testing is directed toward people, and this can be a high-risk situation.
In 2017 so far there have been 11 high-risk dingo interactions on K’gari. QPWS will continue to implement the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy (the Strategy) to reduce human interactions with dingoes.
This includes fining people for feeding or interacting with dingoes on K’gari, to prevent habituation of dingoes and reduce the risk of attacks. QPWS will continue to educate residents and visitors to follow dingo safety advice.
The Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy provides the framework for the management of dingoes and their interaction with people on the island. The Strategy was developed in 2013 following a peer reviewed scientific review of dingo management practices on the island by an independent scientific consultancy in 2012.
The findings of this scientific review determined that the objectives and approaches of the former strategy were largely appropriate.
The current Strategy is based on recommendations from this review, balanced with past positive management achievements.
During each review, the best scientific evidence available is taken into account.
The Department supports further research to improve dingo conservation and risk management on K’gari (Fraser Island). We also welcome divergent scientific views being debated, as it ultimately benefits the development of a more robust policy framework – which we believe we have now, and which we will continue to improve on.
Every authorised research program on the island is subject to strict permit conditions and animal ethics approvals. Any allegation of unlawful interference with these wild animals is investigated.
Peer review of scientific papers is not the Department’s role, and we don’t comment on individual researcher’s findings. That is a role of other scientists who may choose to support or challenge the various research methodologies and conclusions.
Many of our rangers commit to furthering their professional qualifications in their own time, and may publish papers as part of their university studies. Views presented in those papers are not necessarily the views of the Queensland Government.
- QPWS does not comment on court action.