Management of dingoes on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service estate
Relationships between the abundance of dingoes and their major prey species suggest that dingoes have a functional role in ecosystems. Thus, both the dingo and its function need to be conserved. If dingo hybrids are functionally similar to dingoes, they may need to be maintained in areas where there are no pure dingoes. There is little evidence to support the widely-held belief that dingoes or other wild dogs limit the distribution or abundance of foxes in NSW.
In 1995-96, dingoes and other wild dogs occurred in 133 of NPWS national parks and nature reserves (2.32 million ha), most of which are east of the Great Dividing Range. NPWS has the responsibility of conserving remaining dingo populations on these parks and reserves. However, it also recognises that dingoes and other wild dogs may affect livestock on adjoining properties and accepts the need for management to minimise attacks on stock. The NPWS policy for the management of wild dogs (including dingoes) balances these conflicting aims. Where it is necessary to protect livestock on adjoining properties, NPWS carries out both strategic and reactive control of wild dogs. In 1995-96, control was necessary on 57 (43%) of the parks and reserves with wild dogs. The majority (83%) of this control was in cooperation with adjoining landholders. The most common method was ground baiting with 1080, followed by aerial baiting, trapping, shooting and barrier fencing. Most ground baits are now deployed in bait mounds to minimise non-target take. Since 1995-96, aerial baiting has been significantly reduced; in 1998 it occurred on only two reserves. NPWS policy and practices of wild dog management will respond to increasing knowledge about dingoes and other wild dogs, and to proposed changes to the Rural Lands Protection Act 1989, in a manner consistent with both its conservation responsibilities and the need to protect the livestock of neighbours.