“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering”
~ Aldo Leopold, Conservationist ~
The dingo (Canis dingo) is an iconic, Australian native wild canid, which is loved by a huge majority of the populace. A marked shift in the public and scientific communities’ attitude toward the role, and protection of dingoes in Australia has been officially recognised over the past decade. This is primarily due to their important ecological function as Australia’s only terrestrial top predator, where regulation and suppression of many species such as kangaroos, rabbits, foxes and cats, naturally promotes ecosystem balance.
Unfortunately, the dingo has suffered the same fate as the grey wolf (Canis lupus) by coming into conflict with graziers, and becoming a convenient scapegoat for profit losses. It’s a cultural issue, where the fear of what may be possible is more real than what does, or is likely to occur.
On the contrary, many studies are finding a case for the re-introduction of the dingo into previously occupied habitat ranges, in order to return some balance to environmentally degraded areas, as a result of unregulated and out-dated farming practices.
Each day, more credible evidence of this is made available in the face of what has largely been unsubstantiated conjecture by the rural lobby that has been exaggerated by the media.
Dingoes have faced ongoing cultural persecution via bounty hunts, trapping and 1080 baiting. Consequently, they are under severe threat of eradication, particularly along the south-eastern seaboard of Australia, where agricultural and urban developments dominate. Dingoes are currently considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but it has been largely left up to sanctuaries, such as ours, to fight for the protection and future of the dingo.
In order to bring relief and a glimmer of hope to the survival of a species that if left alone, would thrive, The Australian Dingo Foundation was formed in 2006.
Application was made to the Federal Government, and in 2007 recognition as a conservation-orientated organisation with charity status was conferred. The ADF oversees the wellbeing of the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre, and its precious gene pool to ensure that there are dingoes in the future. The dingo is a unique, wild canid species that needs to be appreciated as a vital “cog”, for the functioning of the “wheel”, that is our Australian environment.