Dingo Working Group

Scope and objectives:

The goal of the Dingo Working group is to promote conservation research in Australia and New Guinea. In addition, I want to have an in-depth understanding of the social value and ecological and cultural value of dingoes and understand the biological relationship between them. And it wants to strike a balance between dingoes and other goals.

The Dingo Working Group aims to foster trans-disciplinary collaborations that will contribute to the formulation of priority research, conservation, management, and policy actions at appropriate scales. The Group also aims to disseminate relevant information on dingoes to policymakers, wildlife managers, the scientific community, and the general public.

Dingoes in this context include Australian dingoes and closely related wild canids from New Guinea and possibly other nearby regions as well.


Priority issues affecting dingoes:

  • Information on the wild canids of Papua New Guinea and south-east Asia, and their genetic relationships with Australian dingoes.

Thousands of years ago dingoes ranged from Malaysia to Australia. Between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. So dingoes are the oldest dogs. During this time, the biological and genetic relationships between canids in these areas also influenced the status of the dingo and its value. A greater understanding of these relationships will assist their conservation and management across their extended range.

  • Information on geographic boundaries of any evolutionarily significant dingo populations and identification of regional hotspots where the dingo populations have limited domestic dog introgression.

Ongoing genetic mixing between dingoes and modern dogs – often referred to as hybridization – threatens the loss of valuable genetic diversity within dingoes. Australian dingoes are often thought of as having a single genetic identity, but modern genetic data indicates this is not the case. Identifying regions with distinct evolutionary lineages can assist with determining management actions that can preserve these populations against factors that may threaten them. It is also important to identify local dingo populations which have limited (or zero) domestic dog ancestry.

  • Information on the effects of dingo management on dispersal and hybridization.

Dingoes are present across ~85% of the Australian continent and can cause substantial damage to livestock, which leads to broad-scale lethal control of dingoes in a lot of areas. Dingo control may increase intraspecific interactions and act as a catalyst for the loss of valuable genetic diversity. These issues remain poorly understood, but they are important to help understand the effects of common dingo management practices on dingo conservation values.

  • Information on non-numerical effects of dingo management on populations of dingoes and other fauna.

Dingo abundance and distribution are typically resilient to most contemporary forms of dingo control over time, but there remains some uncertainty about the effects of dingo control on their ecological function, population genetics, and the potential cascading effects this may have for other fauna and flora. More information on these processes may assist in developing dingo management strategies with the potential to conserve their ecological values.

  • Broadening the knowledge base about available dingo management tools, encouraging the use of non-lethal tools where appropriate.

There are all kinds of potential management tools to keep livestock and other animals out of danger. But only a few of these tools are used. That includes poisoning, shooting, and fencing. Other tools have not been used in practice because of the lack of reliable data. With increasing public pressure to priori non-lethal control of dingoes, obtaining a greater understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of non-lethal tools may assist with the adoption of these tools in appropriate places.

Published On: December 7th, 2022Categories: Dog knowledge