Wild Dogs & Dingos
Wild dog numbers are increasing across Australia with recent figures from Livestock SA claiming that 200 wild dogs were trapped or shot since the beginning of 2017 north of Port Augusta alone.
Unlike foxes, wild dogs will also hunt in packs. This makes them a particularly effective predator able to hunt prey bigger than themselves. Wild dogs will and do hunt smaller prey, including foxes and feral cats as well as native species. Their natural instinct is to kill more animals than they need to eat at any one time, making attacks on herd animals particularly costly and distressing to graziers. In some instances particular animals will learn to target specific species in an area and decimate the local population.
In New South Wales packs of wild dogs have recently been responsible for attacks on people in rural areas.
A National Wild Dog Action Plan has been set in place nationally to attempt to address the problem through community action using multiple methods including trapping, baiting and professional shooters. For control of wild dogs in sensitive environments such as organically run properties effective control by professional shooters is a viable option.
Explainer: South Australia’s wild dog problem and sheep industry’s plea for dedicated doggers, ABC Rural, Courtney Fowler, 7 April, 2017.
Survey on wild dog controls as 3870 head of stock lost in New England, Western Advocate, John Ellicott, Nov. 3, 2017.
Volunteers deliver dog control at Bollards Lagoon, Across the Outback, Natural Resources, SA Arid Lands, Nov. 2015, Issue 75, p. 16.