Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Past research on dingoes Canis lupus dingo indicated that ‘pure’ populations were threatened by hybridisation with domestic dogs, C. l. familiaris. Other work showed that methods of control affected their social systems. Understanding the ecology of dingoes can help to engender the use of adaptive sustainable management techniques rather than a reversion to lethal control. Reports of impacts of dingoes on livestock production have neglected the role of dingoes as a hypercarnivorous trophic regulator.

This study proposes that dingo predation on livestock can be managed by adapting livestock husbandry to suit Australian environments. Livestock enterprises affected by predation should be encouraged to:

• Reduce local attractants, such as unspayed domestic dogs; and

• Increase use of deterrents, such as guard animals.

Culling by appropriate authorities of troublesome individual dingoes involved in persistent predation of livestock should be an option only if the pastoralist has reduced attractants and increased deterrents. It is anticipated that adaptive management of livestock, in association with recent understanding of dingo biology, will reduce conflicts, assist objectives for conservation and improve biological stability in unstable Australian ecosystems.

Allen, B. L. 2010. Skin and bone: observations of dingo scavenging during a chronic food shortage. Australian Mammalogy 32: 207-208.
Allen, B. L. 2011. A comment on the distribution of historical and contemporary livestock grazing across Australia: implications for using dingoes for biodiversity conservation. Ecological Management & Restoration 12:26-30. doi:10.1111/j.1442-8903.2011.00571.x
Allen, B. L., Engeman, R. M., and Allen, L. R. 2011a. Wild dogma: an examination of recent “evidence” for dingo regulation of invasive mesopredator release in Australia. Current Zoology 57: 568-583.
Allen, B. L., Engeman, R. M., and Allen, L. R. 2011b. Wild dogma II: The role and implications of wild dogma for wild dog management in Australia Current Zoology 57: 737-740.
Anonymous 2010 Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030, Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
Anonymous 2011 State of the Environment 2011 Independent report by Australian State of the Environment Committee to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra [URL:]
Bowman, D. 2012. Bring elephants to Australia? Nature 482: 30.
Brawata, R. L. and Neeman, T. 2011. Is water the key? Dingo management, intraguild interactions and predator distribution around water points in arid Australia. Wildlife Research 38: 426-436.
Chadwick, D. H. 2010. Wolf wars. National Geographic 217: 34-55.
Chapple, R. S., Ramp, D., Bradstock, R. A., Kingsford, R., Merson, J., Auld, T., Fleming, P. J. S. and Mulley, R. C. 2011. Integrating Science into management of ecosystems in the Greater Blue Mountains, Journal of Environmental Management 48: 659-674.
Cole, C. 2011 Komodo-Secrets of the Dragon [documentary] British Broadcasting Company, Bristol, United Kingdom.
Cupples JB, Crowther MS, Story G, Letnic, M. 2011. Dietary overlap and prey selectivity among sympatric carnivores: could dingoes suppress foxes through competition for prey?, Journal of Mammalogy 92: 590-600.
Estes, J. A., Terborgh, J., Brashares, J. S., Power, M. E., Berger, J., Bond, W. J., Carpenter, S. R., Essington, T. E., Holt, R. D., Jackson, J. B. C., Marquis, R. L., Oksanen, L., Oksanen, T., Paine, R. T., Pikitch, E. K., Ripple, W. J., Sandin, S. A., Scheffer, M., Schoener, T. W., Shurin, J. B., Sinclair, A. R. E., Soule, M. E., Virtanen, R. and Wardle, D. A. 2011. Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth, Science 33: 301-306.
Fleming, P. J. S., Allen, B. L. and Ballard, G. A. 2012. Seven considerations about dingoes as biodiversity engineers: the socioecological niches of dogs in Australia Australian Mammalogy
Hytten, K. F. 2009. Dingo dualisms: exploring the ambiguous identity of Australian dingoes. Australian Zoologist 35: 18-27.
Letnic, M. and Dworjanyn, S. A. 2011. Does a top predator reduce the predatory impact of an invasive mesopredator on an endangered rodent? Ecography 34: 827-835. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06516.x
Letnic, M., Crowther, M. S., Dickman, C. R. and Ritchie, E. G. 2011a. Demonising the dingo: How much wild dogma is enough? Current Zoology, 57: 668-670.
Letnic, M., Koch, F., Gordon, C., Crowther, M., and Dickman, C. 2009b. Keystone effects of an alien top-predator stem extinctions of native mammals. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 276: 3249-3256. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0574
Letnic, M., Greenville, A., Denny, E., Dickman, C. R., Tischler, M., Gordon, C., and Koch, F. 2011c. Does a top predator suppress the abundance of an invasive mesopredator at a continental scale? Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 343-353 doi:10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00600.x
Letnic, M., Ritchie, E. G. and Dickman, C. R. 2011. Top predators as biodiversity regulators: the dingo Canis lupus dingo as a case study. Biological reviews doi: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2011.00203.x
Letnic, M., Story, P., Story, G., Field, J., Brown, O. and Dickman, C.R. 2011d. Resource pulses, switching trophic control, and the dynamics of small mammal assemblages in arid Australia, Journal of Mammalogy, 92: 1210-1222.
Purcell, B. V. 2010. A novel observation of dingoes ( Canis lupus dingo) attacking a swimming eastern grey kangaroo ( Macropus giganteus). Australian Mammalogy 32: 201-204.
Purcell, B. V. 2011 Working with livestock producers for sustainable management of carnivores Final report to the NSW Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Canberra.
Visser, R. L., Watson, J. E. M., Dickman, C. R., Southgate, R., Jenkins, D., and Johnson, C. N. 2009. A national framework for research on trophic regulation by the dingo in Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology 15: 209-216.
vonHoldt, B. M., Pollinger, J. P., Lohmueller, K. E., Han, E., Parker, H. G., Quignon, P., Degenhardt, J. D., Boyko, A. R., Earl, D. A., Auton, A., Reynolds, A., Bryc, K., Brisbin, A., Knowles, J. C., Mosher, D. S., Spady, T. C., Elkahloun, A., Geffen, E., Pilot, M., Jedrzejewski, W., Greco, C., Randi, E., Bannasch, D., Wilton, A., Shearman, J., Musiani, M., Cargill, M., Jones, P. G., Qian, Z., Huang, W., Ding, Z.-L., Zhang, Y.-P., Bustamante, C. D., Ostrander, E. A., Novembre, J., and Wayne, R. K. 2010. Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication. Nature 464: 898-902. doi:10.1038/nature08837
Wallach, A. D., Johnson, C. N., Ritchie, E. G. and O'Neill, A. J. 2010. Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states Ecology Letters, 13: 1008-1018
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal