Watch out for wongari when driving on K'gari
Issued: 21 Mar 2023
Rangers on K’gari (Fraser Island) are appealing to visitors and residents to slow down while driving on beaches and tracks following the death of another wongari (dingo).
On 16 March 2023, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers discovered the wongari on a Eurong beach, in the vicinity of a 40km/hour sign.
Ranger Dan Novak said rangers are investigating the incident but without public assistance, it is difficult to determine the circumstances that result in a vehicle strike.
“Sadly, accidents involving wongari and vehicles are all too common, and it is estimated that up to 70 wongari have been fatally struck by vehicles since 2000,” Mr Novak said.
“This includes 38 wongari fatally struck by vehicles since 2009, and these incidents can have devastating consequences for the wongari population on the island.
“Wongari play a vital role in the ecosystem, and retrieving deceased wongari distresses QPWS rangers and Butchulla Traditional Owners.
“Drivers on K’gari’s beaches must observe the island’s speed limits for personal safety reasons, and they must keep a close watch for wongari.
“Adhering to the speed limits reduces the risk of accidents but also gives drivers more time to react if they encounter a dingo on the road or beach.
“Dingoes are unpredictable and may suddenly appear on the road or beach so drivers must be alert and be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary.”
Mr Novak said anyone with information about the deceased wongari is encouraged to contact the Department of Environment and Science by emailing email@example.com or by calling (07) 4127 9150.
“K’gari is the wongari’s place so we need to give them space, and rangers have installed new signage to remind drivers to be dingo-aware,” he said.
“If drivers see a dingo on the road or beach, slow down to give them ample space to move away and use your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
“We need drivers to help protect dingoes on K'gari and prevent accidents that could harm both the animals and visitors.
“Anyone who is involved in an accident with a wongari should report it to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
“This information is crucial for understanding dingo behaviour on the island and implementing measures to protect them.”
Wongari driving tips:
- Observe speed limits – they are there to help keep people and wildlife safe
- Give wongari plenty of space
- Report dingo sightings or incidents
- Never feed dingoes as they may approach vehicles for food.