RESEARCH

In recent years we have also made our dingoes available for non-invasive scientific research. We had a long standing association with the late Dr. Alan Wilton from the Molecular Science Lab the University of NSW (pictured with Lyn and researcher Dr. Bradley Smith), which focused on a comparative genome project to determine the true ancient background of the dingo in Australia. We currently support the genetic research being conducted by Dr. Kylie Cairns at the University of NSW.

In July and August 2010, a team of researchers from Harvard conducted a number of crucial cognitive studies, following the publication in esteemed scientific journals of work carried out here in 2008 by Dr. Bradley Smith, scientific director of the Australian Dingo Foundation.

When Bradley documented the use of tools by dingoes at the Sanctuary, the entire scientific world sat up and took notice. This has led to contacts from scientists from the northern hemisphere, and we expect ongoing proposals of which will in turn, lead to a new respect for Australia’s only wild canid.

Cognitive research has also been conducted with a team led by Dr. Angie Johnston, and director, Dr. Laurie Santos, from the Canine Cognition Lab at Yale University over the past few years with great success. The most recent research, which focuses on eye contact between wolves, dingoes and domestic dogs, was published in Animal Behaviour, November 2017.

We have also assisted Dr. Michael Parsons of Murdoch University, WA, and Linda van Bommel of Australian National University, with various studies on dingo by-products as non-lethal biological deterrents. Arthur Rylah Institute has also conducted aversion studies here.

Publication list of non-lethal research conducted with DDC dingoes:

Byosiere SE, Espinosa J, Smith B (2018) The function of play bows in Canis lupus and its variants: A comparison of dingo (Canis lupus dingo), dog (Canis lupus familiaris) and wolf puppies (Canis lupus). Behaviour 155, 369-388.

Déaux EC, Charrier I, Clarke JA (2016a) The bark, the howl and the bark-howl: Identity cues in dingoes’ multicomponent calls. Behavioural Processes 129, 94-100. doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2016.06.012

Déaux EC, Allen AP, Clarke JA, Charrier I (2016b) Concatenation of ‘alert’ and ‘identity’ segments in dingoes’ alarm calls. Scientific Reports 6, 30556. doi.org/10.1038/srep30556

Flavel M (2012) The effect of age, gender, and antibiotics on the canine gut microbiome. Hons. Thesis (La Trobe University: Victoria).

Hudson R, Rödel H, Elizalde M, Arteaga L, Kennedy G, Smith B (2016) Pattern of nipple use by puppies: a comparison of the Australian dingo and the domestic dog. Journal of Comparative Psychology 130, 269-277. doi.org/10.1037/com0000023

Hudson R, Elizalde M, Kennedy G, Rödel H, Smith B (2018) Diurnal pattern of pre-weaning den visits and nursing in breeding pairs of captive dingoes (Canis dingo). Mammalian Biology 94, 86-91. doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2018.07.002

Johnston AM, Holden PC, Santos LR (2017) Exploring the evolutionary origins of overimitation: a comparison across domesticated and non‐domesticated canids. Developmental Science 20, e12460. doi.org/10.1111/desc.12460

Johnston A, Turrin C, Watson L, Arre A, Santos LR (2017) Uncovering the origins of dog–human eye contact: Dingoes establish eye contact more than wolves, but less than dogs. Animal Behaviour 133, 123-129. doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.09.002

Reynolds JE, Dortch J, Balme J (2016) Dingo scat-bone ‘signature patterns’: an actualistic study and comparison of wild and captive scat-bone assemblages and interpretation of bone fragments from Witchcliffe Rock Shelter, south western Australia. Australian Archaeology 82, 218-231.

Robley A, Lindeman M, Cook I, Woodford L, Moloney P (2015) Dingo semiochemicals: towards a non-lethal control tool for the management of dingoes and wild dogs in Australia. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Technical Report Series No. 263, Victoria.

Smith B, Litchfield C (2010) Dingoes (Canis dingo) can use human social cues to locate hidden food. Animal Cognition 13, 367-376. doi.org/10.1007/s10071-009-0287-z

Smith B, Litchfield C (2010) How well do dingoes (Canis dingo) perform on the detour task. Animal Behaviour 80, 155-162. doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.04.017

Smith B, Appleby R, Litchfield C (2012) Spontaneous tool-use: an observation of a dingo (Canis dingo) using a table to access an out-of-reach food reward. Behavioural Processes 89, 219-224. doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2011.11.004

Smith B, Litchfield C (2013) Looking back at ‘looking back’: Operationalizing referential gaze for dingoes in an unsolvable task. Animal Cognition 16, 961-971. doi.org/10.1007/s10071-013-0629-8

Smith B, Flavel M, Simpson B (2016) Quantification of salivary cortisol from captive dingoes (Canis dingo) in relation to age, gender, and breeding season. Australian Mammalogy 38, 21-28. doi.org/10.1071/AM15017

van Bommel L, Johnson CN (2014) How guardian dogs protect livestock from predators: territorial enforcement by Maremma sheepdogs. Wildlife Research 41, 662-667. doi.org/10.1071/WR14190

Pilot studies:

Koungoulos L (2017) What’s eating you? An investigation of Australian carnivore toothmark taphonomy using HIROX microscopy. Hons. Unpublished Thesis (The University of Sydney: New South Wales).

Koungoulos L, Faulkner P, Asmussen B (2018). Analysis of pit and score tooth-mark sizes from bones modified by Holocene Australian terrestrial fauna in relation to body size. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 20, 271-283.