Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

The dingo menace: An early account of farmer interactions with dingoes from surveys by N. W. G. Macintosh (#737)

Lily van Eeden 1 , Bradley Smith 2 , Christopher Dickman 1 , Mathew Crowther 1 , Thomas Newsome 3
  1. The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Wayville, South Australia, Australia
  3. School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia

In the 1950s, Professor N. W. G. Macintosh conducted the first national public survey on dingoes. Essentially a citizen science project, the survey was a call for information on dingo biology from farmers and doggers, with 23 categories ranging from reproduction to domestication, and from hunting behaviour to the effectiveness of management methods. The surveys contained 202 open-ended questions, which were delivered by mail, primarily via the Graziers’ Federal Council of Australia, with a 19.6% response rate (141 completed responses received). However, analysis of the results was never completed so we seek to finish the project. In addition to biological information, the surveys provide an account of farmers’ attitudes towards dingoes. Of particular interest are experiences with and attitudes towards management methods, with overwhelmingly negative responses towards aerial baiting, which had just begun to be implemented and now forms a major component of Australian dingo management. By considering the historical context under which this survey was conducted, we analyse how social and environmental factors shape values and decisions in wildlife management and discuss how such analysis can be applied to today’s dingo management.