Dingoes on the eastern beach of Fraser Island.
Dingoes on the eastern beach of Fraser Island. Alistair Brightman FRA090411ding

Group calls for visitor responsibility after dingo bites boy

A CONSERVATION group has spoken out in defence of Fraser Island's wildlife after a dingo bit a 6-year-old boy on the buttocks yesterday.

Save Fraser Island Dingoes spokeswoman Cheryl Bryant said the peak holiday season was bound to result in encounters between wildlife and tourists on the island.

"It also seems inevitable that the wildlife will continue to pay the price," Ms Bryant said.

"The influx of thousands of tourists during these peak periods clearly disturbs the wildlife and damages the environment."

She said visitors needed to be more aware of the dangers on the island.

"Although there are countless signs on the island regarding appropriate behaviour, including keeping children close and supervised, there seems to be little responsibility placed on the visitors," she said.

"Perhaps families with young children should consider staying in fenced areas - after all, that is why they were erected.

"There certainly needs to be more consultation to prevent these negative encounters and protect both wildlife and visitors."

Ms Bryant said tourism was already putting pressure on the island's flora and fauna.

"Some animals succumb to vehicle strikes, interference of their habitat, and dingoes are destroyed for what is considered aggressive behaviour," she said.

"As a World Heritage listed Island the flora and fauna should be the most important consideration."

The University of the Sunshine Coast is planning a research project beginning in 2017 to determine how to minimise the impact of vehicle traffic.

Gympie Times


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