The conservation status of the dingo Canis lupus dingo in Australia, with particular reference to New South Wales: threats to pure dingoes and potential solutions
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Laurie Corbett, 2001. "The conservation status of the dingo Canis lupus dingo in Australia, with particular reference to New South Wales: threats to pure dingoes and potential solutions", A Symposium on the Dingo, C. R. Dickman, Daniel Lunney
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The status of dingoes in seven major regions of Australia was investigated using skull discriminant measurements and pelt colours. Results indicated that there is only one form of dingo throughout Australia- the Australian dingo Canis lupus dingo. Previously held notions of several distinct forms, such as alpine, desert and tropical dingoes were dispelled.
Hybridisation with domestic dogs remains the greatest threat to the continued existence of pure dingo populations. Hybrids exist in wild populations from northern, central and north-western Australia, and it appears that only hybrids remain in the south-eastern Highlands of Australia. In New South Wales, mixed populations of dingoes and hybrids were present in the northeastern Tablelands about 20 years ago but whether or not dingoes still remain there will only be confirmed by analysis of samples from current populations. Other threats to dingoes are Dingo Preservation Societies and the recently enacted NSW Companion Animals Act because they are based on untested dingo stock and effectively increase the hybridisation process. Protecting dingoes under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is also likely to be ineffective unless hybrids are removed from natural habitats.
Large islands offer the best hope of preserving dingoes in natural environments provided they are cleared of hybrids, the remaining dingo populations managed in relation to natural food supplies, and humans accept changes in ownership of pet dogs and the quality of the experience in enjoying dingoes.