Halt called for on dingo baiting
DINGO conservationist Jennifer Parkhurst has hit back at plans to shoot or trap dingo-cross dogs at Inskip Point, saying the dingoes were purebred and should be protected.
In response to calls from birdwatchers saying dingo-cross dogs had wiped out a substantial number of ground-dwelling birds, Great Sandy Marine Park regional manager Ross Belcher told The Courier Mail feral pest numbers would be reduced by Easter.
He also said bird numbers would be monitored.
Feral pests including foxes, cats and a pack of six feral dogs had all played their part in making vulnerable beach stone-curlews move to Fraser Island, Birds Queensland conservation officer Mike West said.
Ms Parkhurst said the feral dogs that Mr West talked about appeared to be purebred dingoes, just a different colour.
"People don't understand the significant conservation value of black and tan dingoes, only 17% of dingoes in Australia are black," she said.
"Dingoes certainly aren't feral animals - they're native and come in four different colours ginger, black and tan, pure black and white. From my observations the dingoes around Inskip are pure.
"It's just part of nature and all part of the ecosystem that is dependent on dingoes to regulate it," she said.
It was not just the safety of the dingoes that Ms Parkhurst was worried about, she was concerned a baiting program would impact on other birds, children and pets.
"Birds of prey could feed on the carcass of a dead dingo. Anyway in my experience the young dingoes have been skittish, wary and timid. Given another two months the dingoes would disperse...and start their own pack. They won't be here much longer.
"After taking bait a dingo could wander anywhere, within reach of a child or a family pet. It could be catastrophic."
Mr West said Inskip Point was a special area with rare birds and 96 different species.