UPDATE: Dept responds to concerns for 'malnourished' dingoes
CONCERNS have been raised by dingo advocates after photos emerged of "malnourished" animals in the aftermath of the devastating fires on Fraser Island.
A statement from Save Fraser Island Dingoes said offers of assistance by the Humane Society and International Fund for Wildlife to search for displaced and injured animals had been deemed unnecessary by the authorities.
"The Department of Environment and Science in a statement released, assured the public that departmental ecologists, local rangers and Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation are conducting the assessments and implementing recovery actions in relation to not only the wildlife and natural values but also the cultural assets and infrastructure impacted by the fires," the statement read.
"In the meantime, UNESCO World Heritage Centre has expressed concerns of the impact the fires have had on the Outstanding Universal Values of the Island, which is the basis for World Heritage listing."
An inquiry has also been launched by the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management to review the K'gari bushfire.
Public submissions are invited until January 22.
"There have been numerous sightings of dingoes across the Island and while this is in itself is a positive outcome, there are growing concerns regarding the long term health of the population," the statement from Save Fraser Island Dingoes continues.
"Residents and visitors have reported lone pups and adults in poor condition.
"While we are accustomed to seeing skinny dingoes on K'gari, disturbing photos of emaciated animals and starving pups have emerged.
"The burning question is do we intervene and assist these animals?
"The QPWS operate under the FIDCRMS (Fraser Island Dingo Conservation Risk Management Strategy 2012) and this clearly does not support supplemental feeding unless the viability of the population can be scientifically demonstrated to be compromised.
"Since the ecological assessment of the fires is still underway can the government definitively say that this is not the case?
"Experts seem to be divided, there are those who take the governments position and have no concern about the longevity and welfare of the island dingoes, while others, more cautiously, worry about the long-term impact on the population.
"Meanwhile the dingoes continue to fight for survival on their island home."
A spokeswoman from the Department of Environment and Science said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services had worked diligently over the last month alongside Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation and local businesses to ensure wildlife and community safety.
"Rangers have not observed any obvious health issues with the dingo population after the recent fires," she said.
"The health of the dingoes that live on K'gari is constantly monitored by experienced rangers on the island.
"The dingoes on the island are observed to be in overall good health and have an abundance of natural food resources.
"This is a wild population in a natural ecosystem, where DES keeps intervention to a minimum.
"Butchulla Traditional Owners and DES are committed the continuation of a sustainable and healthy dingo population on K'gari."