Dingo - Conservation

Conservation

Dingoes are officially protected only in Australia where there exist conservation areas for "pure" dingoes. These areas include national parks and natural reserves in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, and Victoria, the Arnhem Land and other Aboriginal lands, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the whole of the Australian Capital Territory. Outside of these protected area, dingoes are regarded as declared pests in the bulk of their remaining distribution area and landowners are committed to control the local populations. Throughout Australia, all other wild dogs are considered pests but in practice are granted full protection in conservation zones because a separate management apart from those set aside for dingoes is not possible.

The dingoes of Fraser Island are considered to be of significant conservational value. Due to their geographic and genetic isolation, they are considered to be the most similar to the original dingoes are seen as the most pure dingo population. The dingoes there are not "threatened" by interbreeding with other domestic dogs.

Groups that have devoted themselves to the conservation of the "pure" dingo by using breeding programs include the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society and the Australian Dingo Conservation Association. Presently, The efforts of the dingo conservation groups are considered to be ineffective because most of their dogs are untested or known to be hybrids.

Dingo conservation efforts focus primarily on preventing interbreeding between dingoes and other domestic dogs in order to conserve the population of pure dingoes. This is extremely difficult and costly. Conservation efforts are hampered by the fact that it is not known how many pure dingoes still exist in Australia. Steps to conserve the pure dingo can only be effective when the identification of dingoes and other domestic dogs is absolutely reliable, especially in the case of living specimen. Additionally, conservation efforts are in conflict with control measures.

Conservation of pure and survivable dingo populations is regarded as promising in remote areas, where contact with humans and other domestic dogs is rare. Under NSW state policy in parks, reserves, and other areas not used by agriculture, these populations are only to be controlled when they pose a threat to the survival of other native species. The introduction of "dog-free" buffer zones around areas with pure dingoes is regarded as a realistic method to stop interbreeding. At the moment this is enforced in the way that all wild dogs can be killed outside of the conservation areas. However studies from the year 2007 indicate that even an intensive control of core areas is probably not able to stop the process of interbreeding.

At the present there is no information on what opinions the public holds regarding the conservation of dingoes. There is no unity on the definition of "pure" dingoes and how far they should be controlled.

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