Updated: Jul 9
I have a great love for dingoes, and I also respect that they are wild, unpredictable animals, in saying that I've learnt some cool facts about dingoes that I would like to share with you.
All the photos and the video in this post are some of the dingoes I have encountered in the local area.
Dingoes in NSW
Where I live in NSW, Australia, Dingoes are plentiful, and I come across them nearly every day; however, I am very cautious around them.
I recently came across a pack of four (photo above - one was hiding in the bush) as they were wandering up the road in the middle of Myall Lakes National Park. The video below shows the male coming out of hiding at the end.
Dingoes are naturally thin, weighing 13 to 18 kilogrammes and standing 60 centimetres tall. Their fur is usually golden yellow, although it can be reddish, tawny, or black. White patterns on the breast, paws, and tail tip are common. Their nose and huge ears are pointy.
They reside in ten or more individual groups, while adolescent males are frequently solitary.
Dingoes are related to Asian canids. Their origins and arrival dates are still being researched. Recent genomic research of the Dingo and the closely related New Guinea Singing Dog indicates that they arrived in Oceania at least 8,300 years ago.
Dingoes hunt in pairs or sometimes in small groups. Family groups are common, resembling those of other canines such as wolves. Dingoes are very mobile, with daily movements ranging from 10 to 20 kilometres and territories ranging from 10 to 115 square kilometres.
There is limited overlap between neighbouring groups; scent marking delineates boundaries, and howling indicates territory possession. Dingoes rarely bark, but they produce a wide range of howls, earning them the nickname 'Singing Dog'.
Dingoes can dwell in a wide variety of settings on the Australian mainland. Woodland and grassland regions that extend to the edge of woods are prefered. The availability of suitable water sources only restricts them. Due to the advent of agriculture by early European settlers and the fear of cattle predation, numbers declined.
Dingoes are carnivorous opportunists. Rabbits, kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats are among the most common mammals in their diet. They are known to hunt domestic animals and agricultural livestock when native species are few. Pastoralists, therefore, despise them. If that fails, the Dingo will consume reptiles and any other food it can locate, such as insects and birds. The Dingo is a lone predator scavenging at night but will form larger packs when hunting larger species.
Dingoes may have contributed to the extinction of mainland Tasmania Tigers by competing for food resources. From my observation, I have seen bad behaviour from dingoes that humans have fed, and it is greatly frowned upon by locals and the government and is, in fact, against the law. Dingoes may look lean and underfed, but that is their natural makeup, and they are more than capable of finding food. Where I live, we see many dingoes hanging around the houses; these animals are pretty tame; however, never forget they are wild and unpredictable.
Most female dingoes reach sexual maturity at two, whereas male dingoes reach sexual maturity at one. Only the most dominant members of an established Dingo pack will reproduce, allowing the rest to assist with the pups' feeding. Often the Alpha female will kill the litter of other dingoes in the pack.
Dangerous to humans
Do dingoes attack humans? Yes! But thankfully, rarely. Humans should never feed dingoes because it encourages them to scavenge for food. Most attacks occur because the dingoes have lost their fear of humans due to their interaction. Most attacks are on children in places such as Fraser Island.
And, the author's observations of dingoes