Few animals in Australia evoke as much controversy as the dingo. There are debates about its cultural significance, what to call it, and its ecological and economic impacts. Resolving these debates requires consensus and agreement among researchers, land managers and other stakeholders. To aid this, I briefly summarise how far we have come in terms of increasing our knowledge of the ecology and behaviour of dingoes since the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales held its first symposium on the dingo in 1999. I summarise the key debates that have arisen during this period, and then summarise some of the key recommendations made in papers that were written following the 2019 symposium. I finish with some suggestions for future dingo research, focusing on (1) how we can better understand and appropriately acknowledge the cultural significance of the dingo through research, broader consultations and appropriate representations on national, state and local pest planning committees, (2) produce taxonomic consensus through the appointment of an independent panel and future research using genome-wide DNA technology, and (3) resolving ecological and economic debates via reintroduction experiments in both conservation and managed agricultural landscapes. Without such efforts, I see a future for the dingo that continues to be steeped in controversy and debate.
Looking to the future: what next for the dingo?
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Thomas Newsome; Looking to the future: what next for the dingo?. Australian Zoologist 1 June 2021; 41 (3): 643–653. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2021.040
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