Warning to visitors as a third person fined for feeding dingoes

Issued: 28 February 2020

Visitors to K’gari (Fraser Island) are again being strongly reminded not to interact with dingoes as a third person in recent months has been issued with a $2,135 fine for feeding a dingo.

The Department of Environment and Science has issued the warning and implored visitors to do the right thing by not interacting with dingoes and jeopardise their own and others safety or the welfare of the animal.

“Quite simply it is illegal to feed dingoes and last year we announced an increase in fines for anyone caught feeding or approaching dingoes on the island,” Acting Regional Director Marc Dargusch said.

In January we had two visitors fined for this dangerous behaviour and yesterday we issued a third fine.

“I understand the natural interest in the dingoes and their appearance. However it is important to understand these dingoes have access to food and feeding them interferes with the natural ecological balance.

“Habituating a dingo encourages it to seek out further human handouts and it is at this point they become a danger.”

On the spot fines are in place for anyone who intentionally feeds or disturbs a dingo. With a zero tolerance approach to ensure tourist safety, rangers will issue fines to anyone found to be interfering, enticing or feeding a dingo.

Last year fines were increased to a minimum $2,135 per offence, and a maximum $10,676 per offence.

“We would encourage anyone on the island to work with us and report any negative dingo encounters to our rangers,” Mr Dargusch said.

“Our rangers work hard to ensure the safety of our tourists, but it is important we receive important information so they can act on it quickly.

“With dingo breeding season now underway, rangers are hoping anyone who visits the island for the Easter school holidays listens to our advice.

“With a surge in visitors we are always concerned about the potential for negative dingo and human interactions and the possibility for an incident to occur.

“Dingo breeding season increases their unpredictability and the potential for aggressive behaviour is always a possibility.

“Visitors must never interpret dingo activity as playful. Never mistake this for an opportunity to approach them.

“Encouragingly, people are recognising that we all play a role in making sure others do the right thing.

“This latest fine was issued following a report by a tourist operator. It is not only rangers that potential offenders need to be wary of.

“We congratulate the individual who reported this most recent incident involving a person doing the wrong thing.”

People can report any negative dingo encounters to a QPWS ranger, by phone 07 4127 9150 or via emailing dingo.ranger@des.qld.gov.au as soon as possible.

Visitors to Fraser Island 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
  • No food to lakeshores.

For more information visit About Fraser Island dingoes.