The sheep grazing industry has been an economic mainstay of New South Wales from the early period of European settlement. The dingo quickly established itself as a predator of sheep and a pest of the pastoral industry. In the latter decades of the nineteenth century, a system was established under which bounties were paid on a wide range of species, but bounties paid for dingoes were far in excess of those paid for other species. In addition, an exclusion fence was built, spanning 8,614 km and three States, to prevent dingoes from reinvading south-eastern Australia. This level of control effort reflects the importance of the dingo as a pest of the sheep industry.
In the period between 1883 and 1930, over 280,000 bounties were paid for dingoes in New South Wales. A t the beginning of this period. dingoes appeared t o be distributed throughout New South Wales. By 1930, dingoes were scarce in all but the north-eastern corner of the State. The highest numbers of sheep were grazed in the areas that showed the most rapid decline in dingo numbers, while relatively low numbers were grazed in the areas where dingoes remained common.
No relationship was observed between the value of bounties offered and the number of scalps submitted. The main incentive for the destruction of dingoes by humans is likely to have been the protection of stock, rather than the monetary reward of the bounty payments.