How many dingoes are there on Fraser Island?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 12/28/2018

Reading time: 3 mins

Find out more detail about Fraser Island’s greatest predator!

Dingoes are legendary known as Australia’s wild dogs, found roaming around almost all of Australia, in a range of different habitats including dessert lands, tropical regions, and open grasslands. They are an iconic and beloved animal as the country’s only native canine. They also hold a significant place in the spiritual and cultural practices of many Aboriginal communities. Fraser Island is home to some of the purest of breeds and is an incredible attraction for tourists when visiting.

The History of Dingoes

Dingos may seem like they’ve been apart of Australian history for a long time, as they have been documented by the Aboriginal people of Australia for generations. Each community of Indigenous people had different rituals and opinions on the dingoes, with some seeing the pups as significant ritual food source, while other tribes adopted the dogs into their society for protection and companionship. However, the dogs are not native animals but estimated to be descendants of the Southeast Asia dogs which were introduced to the continent around 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

Facts about Dingoes

Dingos are a similar size to medium domestic dogs, with sandy brown fur, which can range in different shades. As Australia’s largest terrestrial carnivores, the majority of their diet is made up of meat; including kangaroos, wombats, and other small mammals. The animals will either hunt alone or in small packs, depending on the size of their prey. Mainly hunting at dawn, dusk and during the night. What’s great about these animals is that they prefer larger prey, which puts less predation pressure on the smaller animals found in Australia. Despite looking like dogs, Dingoes, in fact, do not bark but howl similar to wolves.

Dingoes on Fraser Island

Fraser Island dingoes are very special. With the introduction of domestic dogs throughout the years, cross breeds between dingoes with everyday dogs have grown substantially. With these dingo/dog mixes found both in the wild and in suburban homes all over the country. Making a pure dingo extremely rare. Dingoes of Fraser Island have significant preservation value due to their pure status, due to domestic dogs being banned from the island. There is estimated to be around 25 to 30 packs on the island, each containing 3 to 12 dingoes. On Fraser Island, the dingoes are at the very top of the island’s food chain, which serves a vital role in the island’s conservation.

How to see them

People may think of dingoes as friendly dogs roaming free, but they are far more dangerous than they seem. There has been a number of reports of threatening encounters with dingoes on Fraser Island. Being capable of running faster than a human adult, dingoes can be both fast, cunning, and sometimes nasty. Children especially are at risk, as they are more likely seen as prey. Despite this, you can still see Dingoes safety, with the island making key rules and restrictions to keep both you and the dingoes as safe as possible. These rules include no feeding or patting the dingoes, keeping a safe distance, and to dispose of rubbish correctly.

Related article: The Wildlife of Fraser Island

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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