Draft Strategy to Reintroduce Dingoes into Victorian State and National Parks

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We have run many horror stories about wild dog kills to farming stock over the years and this article from the ABC lands right in the middle of this debate. 

Native title holders have produced a draft strategy that has outlined reintroducing dingoes into the wild in six parks and reserves inside the Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

The strategy would involve shared management of the parks between the land's traditional owners and Parks Victoria.

"Native apex predators, such as the Gal Gal (dingo), provide an overall benefit to biodiversity and ecosystem function,

Six state and national parks in central Victoria could again become home to dingoes.

including through their interactive roles with medium-sized predators, such as foxes and cat," the draft plan said.

Pure dingoes are widely thought to have disappeared from Victoria and with this in mind, one has to ask what is the baseline for a pure dingo in Australia now. It is believed that almost all dingo populations in a Australia have some form of domestic dog blood. 

It goes without saying that farmers adjacent to the proposed release areas have raised concerns. 

The parks that would fall under the plan include: Greater Bendigo National Park, Hepburn Regional Park, Paddys Ranges 

Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation chief executive, Rodney Carter, compared the proposal to the reintroduction of  wolves into Yellowstone National Park in the United States. State Park, Kara Kara National Park, Kooyara State Park and the Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve.

Bringing back wolves kept the park's elk numbers in check and helped rehabilitate bird and beaver populations. These wolf releases have also brought their own list problems as well. 

Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) livestock president, Leonard Vallance, said dingoes were a threat to farmed animals, particularly sheep.

Mr Vallance said the animals would need to be fenced in at a cost to the land management authorities, not to farmers. 

He also said farmers would need to be compensated for livestock that were lost to dingoes.

Mr Vallance said. "The people that want to introduce the dogs need to be aware that it comes with a responsibility and a cost to them, not the agricultural sector."

 Wild dog bounties exist across parts of Victoria so education would also have to be made available to farmers and hunters being utilised for pest control. 

Mr Carter from the Victorian Farmers Federation said the introduction is still a long way off. "If the VFF is suggesting their experiences with agriculture aren't necessarily positive regarding a predator, together we would want to work on this," Mr Carter said.

"We wanted the dingo at least put there because it allows us to talk about functioning ecosystem, and I think we can do that as modern people in a very constructive matter and really looking at the pros and cons."

Mr Carter said dingoes were not the only animal the community was considering reintroducing.

There was the possibility that emus could be brought back into the landscape as well as quoll and some species of raptor birds.

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