A Fraser Island dingo with a heavy collar around its neck.
A Fraser Island dingo with a heavy collar around its neck.

Dingo debate: Viral petition reignites collar calls

A PETITION against tracking collars Fraser Island's dingoes has reached more than 11,500 signatures.

In it, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch is asked to "look into the cumbersome collars now on two or more Fraser Island dingoes" and have them removed.

Connect 2 wildlife 4 environment operator Marie-Louise Sarjeant started the petition, saying dingoes were "visibly suffering".

Two female dingoes are currently fitted with the collars.

One has been wearing the collar for more than a year, the other for about seven weeks.

Should the tracking collars on Fraser Island dingoes be removed?

This poll ended on 31 July 2020.

Current Results

Yes

88%

No

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"Putting this type of collar on is concerning as it was put on her during mating season in 2019," Ms Sarjeant said.

"What a horrible time to put it on her while there is dingo rivalry and she is trying to work out her new boundaries.

"People observing her, and that includes visitors to the island, can see she is suffering and visibly deteriorating."

Cheryl Bryant from Save the Fraser Island Dingoes told the Chronicle last month the collar should be removed from the dingo as soon as possible, fearing the weight of the collar could make her more vulnerable if she had lost condition.

"The female dingo was originally collared on May 12, 2019, at 13.8kg," she said.

EXCLUSIVE: How dingo behaviour changed during island closure

"If her condition has deteriorated over the past few months the overall weight of the collar may now exceed the recommended standard which, according to experts, should not be more than 3.5 per cent of the body weight of the animal."

But a spokesman for the Department of Environment and Science said the dingo had not been adversely affected by the collar.

"Rangers have observed her successfully hunting and interacting with other dingoes," he said.

"The tracking collar has not disadvantaged or restricted her, and there is no evidence that she has lost weight or condition since being fitted with the collar.

"QPWS rangers closely monitor animals wearing a collar and will remove the collar if the animal's condition is negatively impacted.

"Tracking collars have been used to monitor dingoes since 2011."

The collar tracked one of the dingo's movements while the island was closed to visitors because of the pandemic.

Lockdown data showed the dingo behaved very differently to when visitors were on the island.

"In the absence of people, following the island's closure, her behaviour was typical dingo behaviour," a spokesman from the Department of Environment and Science said.

"She interacted with other dingoes, and found her own food."