LETTER: Fraser Island dingoes are in danger
LETTER TO EDITOR: In response to research published in the Australian Journal of Environmental Management, which asserted that culling was no danger to the future of dingoes on Fraser Island: many researchers would disagree with these findings.
The conclusion that there exists a population of 76 to 171 is based on a study in 2012 where 18 dingoes were collared and tracked. Only 12 animals survived this study.
This is not sufficient to conduct an accurate data analysis.
There is also research to suggest a population becomes unsustainable when the effective population size drops below 100-200 animals.
The study states that the majority of dingoes destroyed are juvenile males.
These animals are most likely the stronger and more assertive. It is possible the destruction of these dominant animals could weaken the gene pool.
Every animal destroyed could cause repercussions on the dynamics of the island that we are not aware of.
The Eurong pack is cited as an example of sustainability, but in fact the Eurong pack is not thriving or surviving - pups rarely reach their first year.
There are dingoes in this area for the simple reason others move in to the territory when animals are destroyed.
The pack is unstable and continually in crisis, which leads to unruly behaviour by juveniles, which leads to more animals being destroyed.
This is hardly a sustainable situation.
There should be no lethal control nor justification for lethal control in a World Heritage National Park where the dingo is a protected species. Other alternatives must be sought.
Research needs to concentrate on more relevant issues such as population sustainability, human impact and genetic diversity.
- Cheryl Bryant, publicity officer, Save the Fraser Island Dingoes