AS fishers descend on Fraser Island for tailor season and families prepare for the September school holidays, rangers are reminding everyone to avoid interaction with dingoes, follow safety advice and report any negative interactions.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service principal ranger Fraser Coast Ross Belcher said tailor season and September holidays both coincided with dingo whelping season; a time of year when pups were learning hunting skills.
“During whelping season, there may be an increase in people’s interaction with dingoes, as pups venture out of their dens and explore their surroundings, and adult dingoes teach natural hunting and survival skills to their young,” Mr Belcher said.
“QPWS rangers continue to do all they can to ensure Fraser Island visitors and residents are ‘dingo-safe’, particularly at busy holiday times.
“During the holidays, rangers will increase patrols in and around campgrounds and will be speaking to campers, day tourists, resort management and staff about reducing the risk of negative interactions between dingoes and people.
“Dingoes aren’t pets – they are wild and predatory animals, they’re unpredictable, and it is vital they are treated as such.
“Please give them their space.
“Dingoes may be determined and aggressive in their search for food, and females will aggressively defend their young.
“Female dingoes that are feeding young can become naturally lean during whelping time, but don’t let that influence you into offering them food.”
Mr Belcher said feeding dingoes was illegal for good reasons.
“It’s bad for the animal’s health, it places the person in danger and it perpetuates the problem when that animal begins to associate people with food,” he said.
Visitors and residents on Fraser Island are reminded to be dingo safe at all times:
- Always stay close (within arm’s reach) of children and young teenagers;
- Always walk in groups;
- Camp in fenced areas where possible;
- Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction;
- Never feed dingoes;
- Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat);
- Never store food or food containers in tents; and
- Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.
To report a dingo incident, telephone 07 4127 9150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpful information includes the location of the incident, dingo ear-tag colour and which ear.
Further information on being dingo-safe on Fraser Island is available at www.npsr.qld.gov.au