The term “wild dog” applies to wild-roaming animals of the species Canis familiaris, which includes the dingo and the feral domestic dog, and hybrids of the two (Jackson and Groves 2015). Dingoes have inhabited Australia for about 4000 years, long enough to become a functional part of the natural ecological system as a top order predator (Corbett 1995, Fleming et al. 2001). In view of their ecological importance, dingoes are regarded under Northern Territory legislation as native wildlife. This status affords the dingo full legal protection, making it an offence to possess, interfere with, or kill dingoes unless authorised to do so under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (2000) (TPWCA).
Domestic dogs were introduced to the Northern Territory with European settlement and populations of feral domestic dogs and dingo/domestic dog hybrids are known to exist in the vicinity of human habitation (Corbett 1995, Eldridge et al. 2002).
There are a number of negative or undesirable impacts associated with dingoes and other wild dogs. They are known predators of livestock and they can cause significant economic losses to pastoral production. They are also known to prey upon domestic livestock on rural blocks and they can be a menace to tourists and staff at remote tourist resorts and national parks. Furthermore, they can have an impact on the survival of remnant populations of endangered fauna. Ongoing population management is required to control these impacts, but at the same time, ensure the long-term persistence of dingoes in the wild. Feral domestic dogs and hybrids are potentially a lot more dangerous to humans and livestock and efforts are required to restrict the hybridisation process.
|Author||Northern Territory Government|
|Institution||Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts|