PWT7RM Dingoes – Fraser Island
PWT7RM Dingoes – Fraser Island

DINGO DECISION: Call made on tracking collars

THE tracking collar around the neck of a dingo that recently delivered pups will be removed if the animal is negatively impacted, a spokesman from the Department of Environment and Science said.

The department has responded to calls for the removal of the collar, made by Save the Fraser Island Dingoes this week.

Secretary of the group Cheryl Bryant said that the dingo was pregnant and the collar should be removed.

But the department revealed the dingo had delivered her pups.

There are two dingoes, known as wondari in the Butchulla language, on the island wearing the collars.

"Data from tracking collars is used by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to better understand the species, improve management strategies and help keep wongari, residents and visitors to K'gari safe," a spokeswoman from the department said.

"There are two wongari currently wearing collars due to their displaying threatening and high-risk behaviour.

"One of these, with a yellow tag, was last involved in a high-risk interaction in July, 2020.

"The second, which has a blue tag, recently gave birth."

The spokeswoman said both animals had been observed successfully hunting and interacting with other dingoes.

There was concern earlier this year when it seemed the dingo known as Yellow Tag had lost condition.

But recent photos seem to indicate she had put on weight.

"Wongari weights naturally fluctuate throughout the year depending on the season," the spokeswoman said.

She said the practice of using tracking collars was approved by an independent Animal Ethics Committee.

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

"These tracking collars are designed to be removed via a remote drop-off process when tracking is no longer required.

"People are reminded never to feed or interact with dingoes."

On-the-spot fines for feeding or interacting with dingoes range from a minimum of $2135 per offence, to a maximum of $10,676.