Wongari on the move looking for mates

Issued: 1 Apr 2022

Photo of wongari on the beach with the advice that people on K'gari may see wongari moving about.

People on K'gari may see wongari moving about.

Photo of a 4WD and a wongari with advice to be careful when you're driving on the beach as the wongari are on the move

Be careful when you're driving on the beach as the wongari are on the move

Residents and visitors to K’gari (Fraser Island) are reminded to be dingo-safe during the school holidays as the island’s wongari (dingo) wander about looking for a mate.

Ranger In Charge Linda Behrendorff said campsites are expected to be full during the holidays but residents and visitors to the island need to maintain their distance from the wongari to ensure personal safety, and the safety of the wongari.

“The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service wants people to enjoy the pristine beaches and lush rainforest without placing themselves at risk,” Ms Behrendorff said.

“People who have been to K’gari before know rangers have zero tolerance for those who break the rules, and there is no excuse for deliberately or inadvertently disturbing wongari.

“We encourage new visitors to the island to read dingo-safe messaging online, and it is also available at businesses on the island.

“This time of year is wongari breeding season, so they might be more active and more likely to be seen on the beaches or in the bush.

“People are advised to observe them from a distance, and rangers and the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) rangers will be providing dingo-safe messaging in the townships and camping areas.

“Anyone caught deliberately bothering wongari will receive a fine, and tourism operators and visitors and residents routinely provide information and photographs of offences to rangers.

“The minimum fine for deliberately feeding or disturbing dingoes is $2,205, while the maximum penalty is $11,028 per offence.

“People can also be fined $413 for not securing their food, rubbish, bait or fish scraps.”

Ms Behrendorff said wongari are the apex predator on the island and there is plenty of food on the island to support their population.

“Wongari are highly intelligent, highly mobile and have been tracked moving vast distances in a day as they search for a mate, for food or for territory,” she said.

“Wongari have been on the island for thousands of years, they have adapted to the environment and do not need to be disturbed for that perfect selfie.

“Drivers are urged to keep a lookout for wongari on the beach, campers are asked to keep their food and rubbish secured and fishers are advised to dispose of fish scraps so wongari can’t scavenge them.

“They’re currently looking to breed, so leave them at peace or you might place yourself and the wongari at risk.

“Let the wongari find a mate without being harassed, and make sure you look after your mates and your family at all times.”

Visitors to K’gari are reminded to be dingo safe at all times:

  • Always stay close (within arm’s reach) of children and young teenagers
  • Always walk in groups
  • Camp in fenced areas where possible
  • Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction
  • Never feed dingoes
  • Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat)
  • Never store food or food containers in tents, and
  • Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.

Find more information on wongari.