Dingo Dilemma

During a recent morning walk when I just happened to spend a few minutes in our hide…. I wondered why a pair of Pacific Black Duck took off in hurried flight.  As I sat there pondering their sudden departure a pair of Dingoes came into view.   I wasn’t quick enough to photograph them together but the other was black with a white blaze on its chest, not an unusual colouring for Dingoes in our area.  We know they’re around as we sometimes hear them howling at night but their presence poses a dilemma.  We actively discourage pig dogs from hunting on our property as they will chase /hunt anything including our resident Swampy Wallabies, Bandicoots and any ground dwelling birds.

The following morning I took the next photo in which you can see Magpie Geese occupying the same ground as the Dingoes the previous day,  there is also a pair of Latham’s Snipe enjoying this same area, (they’ve been there for several weeks now but they are not in the photo!)

We understand that a healthy functioning ecosystem includes predators and although it is sometimes difficult to watch when a particular favourite animal becomes another’s meal we usually follow our policy of non-intervention.  The exception to this rule is discouraging the Black Butcherbirds from feeding on our verandah frogs!

We recently watched a BB killing quite a large Green Tree snake which was rather sad as the snake was badly injured when we saw it and it takes quite a while for the Butcherbird to kill it.  The BB’s young were waiting for another feed, although they are almost full size they still follow the parents around and beg for food – so I do feel some sympathy for the BB parents.

Back to the dingo dilemma – as our 40 hectares is close to the Dagmar Range of the Greater Daintree National Park as well as having the long frontage on Barratt Creek which is part of the Daintree River system, we feel that our property is only part of the home range of the Dingoes and while we may notice some impact from time to time we will leave them in peace.

10 responses to “Dingo Dilemma

  1. Think I’d rather see dingos than town dogs gone wrong. Too many of them around here.

  2. Hi Barbara
    Looks like you have the duck taking off (in a hurry) on the left of the top image.
    Your Dingo is a fantastic specimen. Not sure about the mongrel, though.
    Cross-breds are bad news, though common. Some have Alsatian blood and are heavier and stronger than the pure-bred Dingoes, and can easily take Kangaroos.

  3. Hi Denis,
    When I first saw the black dog with white blaze on the front I thought it was a mongrel but I have been informed by other reliable observers that black dingoes are often seen in the Rainforest, sometimes with white markings and sometimes not. Its shape and movement was entirely in keeping with a dingo.

    I have also seen the Alsation cross Dingo you mentioned – there was one in our area about 5 years ago but luckily I think one of the farmers ‘dealt’ with it as they had lost several of their young calves. It was a fearsome looking ‘killing machine’.

  4. I agree its a very difficult dilemma. When the balance in nature has been upset how do we find it again and is it ever possible to return to what it was? btw There are a number of ‘black dingoes’ down here – I’m not an expert on dingoes but that’s what the locals call them and they do look different from domestic dogs.

  5. Interesting that you have also seen the ‘black dingoes’ Mick. Re the balance in nature; we are attempting to achieve some sort of balance while enjoying the creatures that live around us.

  6. Rats! I wish you got a shot of the black dingo! Apparently the black dingo is unique to the Daintree and is not found anywhere else in Australia. It is the only significant natural dingo coat variation I have seen.

  7. Sebastian I’m not sure that the black dingo is unique to the Daintree as Mick says she has seen them in her area.

  8. Sebastian your prayers have been answered check out you tube under Ella Bay dingoes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F0G2duCr_g
    and you can see three black dingoes in HD walking the beach at Ella Bay. I also filmed a lone animal on another clip which i suspect is a pregnant bitch. I call her sox and she is one of the 3 in the other video.
    I hate feral dogs but have no problems with dingoes. I have seen black dingoes in many places in the north and they are a very different animal to German shepherd crosses… smaller finer animal altogether as you will see in the video.
    I have tracked this small pack for a while now and have no problem with their presence in the bay. Barbara I think your choice is spot on.

    • Thanks for the comment and the link Russell. Although we heard the dingoes calling on a few occasions prior to this recent wet weather we haven’t had any further sightings. I imagine they might have headed up into the hills to try and keep their feet a bit drier!

      And we still have lots of Bandicoots and a pair of Bush Stone-curlew living happily in our orchard so I’m happy for the dingoes to be part of the eco-system.

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