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Victorian Labor’s environmental policy amnesia - political opportunism trumps principle

The Andrews Labor government has just failed a crucial test of its integrity in relation to threatened species listings and biodiversity governance. Immediately prior to losing office in December 2010, the Brumby Labor government had finalized listing the dingo as a threatened native taxon under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.

The current Labor government’s virtual trashing of that listing, through the reinstatement of a ‘wild-dog’ bounty, which directly panders to the Victorian Upper House Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party members, who were voted in on a relative handful of first preference votes, now casts a shadow over the Victorian Government’s commitment to biodiversity conservation.

History and Current Status of Dingoes

It is commonly accepted that the dingo arrived in Australia approximately 4,000 years ago, and that the current population of dingoes across Australia grew from just one pregnant female. However, this was just an hypothesis posited by geneticist Dr Alan Wilton (deceased), and was never meant to be taken as fact. In the last paper he wrote before he died, Dr Wilton suggested that dingoes were more likely to have been introduced some 11,000 – 18,000 years ago [1]. In a recent genetics study, Dr Wilton’s partner, Dr Kylie Cairns found that there were most likely two introductions of dingoes to Australia, not just one .[2] One introduction was to the North-west of the country, and the other was to the South-east.

Hunting Dingoes, Logging Koalas, Pounding Plovers ...

This document was forwarded to candobetter.net by the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program Inc. (A0051763G). On October 17, the Victorian Wilderness Society, in its Wild Chat bulletin wrote: "Hunting Dingoes, Logging Koalas, Pounding Plovers, and Heeding Dr Seuss Bounty brings uncontrolled threat to Victoria’s dingoes." The bulletin concluded, "It now appears the Andrews Government has lost its way, and is taking a regressive step towards failure for both dingo conservation and a balanced resolution of conservation and farming interests." We republish here the contents of that bulletin.

Videos: Return of dingos, like wolves to Yellowstone will improve environment and biodiversity

There has been a lot of discussion about the benefits likely from the return of traditional animal predators into the Australian environment. In Victoria Toolern Vale’s Australian Dingo Foundation, Aus Eco Solutions and Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre in Little River have launched the Working Dingoes Saving Wildlife project. Inside is a link to the ABC film reporting this. And we have also embedded another film about the impact of returning wolves to Yellowstone Park in the United States, whence they had been absent for about 70 or more years. The effects were positive and remarkable. This is a short and enjoyable film, narrated by George Monbiot.

Try a little kindness to help Australia's ecology adjust - Article by Arthur Gorrie

Compassion was a far more effective environmental management tool than “poison and guns,” award winning ecologist Dr Arian Wallach told a recent conference of conservationists and farmers. And dingoes were an ideal agent for saving the environment and promoting co-existence between native and exotic species. The May 17, 2015 conference, “Dingo – Friend or Foe” was held at Hervey Bay Community Centre, just across the Great Sandy Straits from World Heritage listed Fraser Island where, it was argued, Australia’s war on the dingo began. Three prominent local farmers, Harry Jamieson, Lindsay Titmarsh and James Hansen told the conference of dingo problems, worse in recent years than ever before. (Article by Arthur Gorrie. )

Co-operative breeding and avoidance of incest in dingoes

I was inspired to write this short article after reading evolutionary sociologist Sheila Newman's multi-species population work on cooperative breeding and incest avoidance in Demography, Territory, Law: The Rules of Animal and Human Population, Countershock Press, 2013, chapters 3 and 4. Newman gives theory plus examples of self-controlled populations in variety of species. My primary observation of dingo breeding habits in their native habitat supports this theory and is supported by it.

Queensland Authorities fall back into old dingo mismanagement habits

See also: Help Save Koalas From Extinction! (9/1/2014) on the Australian Wildlife Protection web site.

With the destruction of yet another juvenile dingo on Fraser Island, the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) and the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (NDPRP) today issued a joint criticism of the Queensland Government for its continuing mismanagement of the Fraser Island dingo population.

The juvenile male dingo was destroyed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff this week after it allegedly stalked tourists near Eli Creek on the Island and nipped an 11 year old child.

Courier Mail grossly misleads re dingo impact on sheep industry

This is an article based on a complaint from the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program to the Australian Press Council about an Opinion article, “Marauding wild dog packs wreak havoc in outback Queensland pushing drought-plagued graziers to the wall” (Courier Mail (Queensland), December 06, 2014. Statements in the article are made which, by omission of key facts, and encouragement of prejudice, misrepresent the reasons for the decline in the sheep industry in Queensland. This misrepresentation by omission is used to manufacture an exaggerated account of the role of the dingo in the demise of the sheep grazing industry in that state.

National Dingo Conservation Organisation Welcomes Labor Win in Victoria, and Calls for Restorative Environmental Justice

The cruel changes made by the Napthine Victorian Government to wildlife laws are another reason many might not have known to be glad that its term just ended. It reestablished wild dog control zones across eastern Victoria which go well beyond the three kilometre limit into public land established under Labor. It reintroduced trap types previously banned by Labor as cruel. It introduced a bounty system whereby recreational hunters (including those using bows and arrows) can kill dingoes (‘wild dogs’) for profit across large parts of eastern Victoria and in the Big Desert National Park in western Victoria. Bounties can be taken in the Big Desert region even though there are no wild dog control zones in that part of the state. It increased the period allowed by Labor between trap visitations to 72 hours. Labor had previously reduced the trap visitation time to limit cruelty. it introduced aerial baiting in Victoria, which had not been permitted by the Brumby Labor government. And that's not all.

Dingos: Victorian Agriculture Minister undermines Threatened Species provisions

President of the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program1, and animal research ethics expert, Dr Ian Gunn, today, Wednesday September 10, 2014, expressed dismay at the Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh’s proposal to undermine measures put in place by the previous Labor government under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, to protect the Dingo (Canis lupus subsp Dingo) as a threatened native species in Victoria.

Gympie Regional Council ‘Wild Dog’ Plan Ill-informed

A spokesperson for the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (NDPRP) today,Thursday, August 21st, 2014, expressed concern and disappointment that the Gympie Regional Council appears to have exercised no independence of thought in adopting a ‘Wild Dog’ control plan, which is ill-informed and based largely on prejudice.

Dingo advocates fear QPWS sliding back into old patterns of dingo mismanagement

President of the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program, and animal research ethics expert, Dr Ian Gunn, stated today, Wednesday 20 August, 2014, that the recent destruction of three sub-adult dingoes on Fraser Island for an alleged ‘savage’ attack is a poor reflection upon the new Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service dingo management strategy.

Jane Goodall and Dingo Conservation

" Possibly the most developed policy position is that of the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program. This organisation makes a distinction between the remnant ‘ancestral dingo’ populations, representative of the pre-European type and the ‘modern dingo’, which encompasses wild populations that perform a desirable ecological role, but which have undergone some degree of hybridisation. Ancestral dingo populations may plausibly be conserved in isolated settings, as in island locations, and captive ‘ancestral’ conservation populations are encouraged as a genetic resource for reintroduction where the circumstances are appropriate. The NDPRP sees the main conservation task, however, in securing the protection of extant populations despite the hybridisation that has occurred. This does not mean that reasonable measures should not be taken to limit further hybridisation. "

Poor start to Fraser Island Dingo Management Review

Independence of Queensland Liberal National Party Government Fraser Is. Dingo management policy review has been questioned by the SFID. Why is previous management involved in review of its own record? SFID believes there are a number of high-profile and more suitable ecologists in Australia with experience more directly relevant to dingo conservation who could and should have been recruited to the policy review. The history of dingo management on Fraser Island has been disgraceful.

The plight of and cruelty inflicted on Dingoes on Fraser Island - by Hans Brunner

Dingoes on Fraser Island, Australia are dying of starvation, with sand and grass in their stomachs. One woman tried to alert the world to this and was sentenced and fined for her trouble. On 25th of August 2012 Jennifer Parkhusrt received a national award from the Australian Wildlife Protection Council in recognition of outstanding contributions to the preservation and protection of Australian native Wildlife. What a contrast to the treatment she received from the Queensland government!

Exclusive: Dingo expert talks about jump-suit, N.T. police and how it was obvious Lindy was innocent

Hans Brunner was the man who finally identified the dingo hairs in the Azaria Chamberlain Appeal in 1988. He also examined the jump-suit she had been wearing and experienced the attitudes of Northern Territory officials involved in the case. Here we publish his remarks on the recent coronial verdict. He is refreshingly candid. He also defends dingos and comments unfavorably on the the fining of a woman who fed hungry ones on Fraser Island. Brunner's remarks add to the evidence that Australians should not just assume that the Australian justice system and media are basically reliable. Nor, particularly, should we assume that the government knows what it is talking about with regard to Australian wildlife. These 'authorities' need to be questioned constantly and those who question them should not be easily dismissed.

1080 Poison – A toxic chemical- that our native animals do not deserve

Human exposure to 1080 is very severely restricted by law, for obvious reasons. The same does not apply to other species in baited areas. The major animal welfare concern over the use of 1080 relates to its extreme cruelty and its lack of an antidote. The major environmental concern relates to its effects on non target animals, either through ingestion of baits or by secondary poisoning. Article by Sheila Newman with Maryland Wilson, President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)

Dingo Strategy has no bite...

Media Release... Exactly as I or anyone would have thought. A hungry dog is more likely to approach people and try and get food, and then they have to be "managed" to prevent attacks. It's all a self-fulfilling prophesy to keep their numbers down for tourism. The fine was more about upsetting the status quo and about having their little scheme exposed for what it is. People living on islands don't usually survive without importing food. Why should these animals have to? "Sustainable" numbers for dingoes is one thing, but "sustainable" human numbers - and their overshoot - gets ignored.

Killing dingoes to make way for goats

The destruction of dingoes has taken place in Australia since the first white man set foot on our shores and continues today. Pastoralism and dingoes have never been a good mix however non-lethal methods of protecting stock are being used by a few enlightened pastoralists. The Australian dingo suffers from an image problem due to several factors including a myth that it is not truly a native animal in this country. Many studies have demonstrated however that dingoes are a crucial component in maintaining biodiversity in Australian ecosystems - where there are dingoes there are more small native mammals and less foxes, cats, rabbits, goats and pigs. Dingo predation of kangaroos is an important relationship for both animals yet this is ignored by kangaroo meat advocates as it does not fit into the "green" message they are trying to sell. Given the dingoes key role as a top-order predator, why is the West Australian government employing full time doggers to shoot, trap and poison dingoes to protect feral goats?

Red Plague Grey Plague - Kangaroo [numbers] myths and legends -by Dr Auty

There is another drive for a big kill of kangaroos in Majura ACT (in rare-grassland fragments coveted by developers near the new airport). Conventional wisdom is that kangaroo numbers have increased in Australia since European settlement due to cessation of predation by Aborigines and dingoes, as well as increased availability of water. It seems probable, however, that at the time of settlement kangaroo numbers exceeded the present population at least threefold. Dr Giles Auty estimates their pre-1788 number at around 200 million.

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