OPPONENTS to the introduction of dingoes in Victoria remain vigilant despite defeating the dog’s proposed reintroduction to the Grampians National Park as part of the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan.
The management plan was released late last year, but its strategy to investigate re-introducing dingoes to the landscape has been replaced with a goal to raise awareness about the cultural significance and ecological role of the dingo.
After a petition of more than 4000 people opposing the dingo’s reintroduction, the final management plan report said significant community concern was raised regarding proposals to investigate the release of the dingo or Wilkurr.
“There are no current plans to release Wilkurr into the wild in the Greater Gariwerd Landscape.
“Should there be broader community support in the future, investigations into reintroducing Wilkurr may be re‐considered,” the report said.
The report went on to state that the traditional owners and Parks Victoria support ongoing community discussion to build greater understanding of the cultural significance and ecological role of Wilkurr in the landscape.
“Such discussions and debate will allow issues raised by the local community and farming sector, particularly the lamb and wool industry, to be considered, including any potential impact to visitors or threatened species such as the Brush‐tailed Rock Wallaby.
“It will be important to continue exploring the complexity of all the issues, concerns and opportunities; for example, the idea of a Wilkurr enclosure or sanctuary was identified through community feedback on the draft management plan,” the report said.
Dingo reintroduction concerns revolved around the safety of livestock, other native species and of the dingoes themselves.
National Wild Dog Action Plan management co-ordinator Greg Mifsud said NWDAP provided a submission to the management plan based on the current scientific evidence around the role of dingoes and their impact in the landscape.
“NWDAP advised against the reintroduction of dingoes due to the risk they pose to threatened species and provided significant support and advice to regional producers in terms of scientific arguments against the proposal during the community consultation stage,” he said.
However, Mr Mifsud said the Victorian Parliament’s Environment & Planning Committee has tabled a report that also recommended a trial reintroduction of dingoes, the phasing out of 1080 baiting and the suspension of kangaroo harvesting.
“No decision has been made on that (report).
“Members of the NWDAP co-ordination committee and other stakeholders need to remain vigilant against similar attempts to introduce dingoes into areas containing threatened species,” he said.
Mr Mifsud said the committee report highlights the possible risk of dingo reintroduction proposals in other areas of Victoria.
“There is still a need to remain vigilant, because there are still a lot of advocates and people out there who want to see dingoes in areas where they do not currently occur, which is a huge threat to a range of species.”
Member for Western Victoria and Assistant Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government Bev McArthur said the potential reintroduction of dingoes to the national park posed a threat to the region’s livestock industry and a $33 million investment in the national park’s walking trails and camping options.
“I am delighted with this reprieve for the Grampians, but suspect the idea may be resurrected elsewhere in Victoria,” Ms McArthur said.
A petition of more than 4000 signatures opposing the reintroduction of the dingo to the Grampians National Park was presented to Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy, by Victoria Valley wool producers John, Rhonda and Nicole Crawford.
Rhonda Crawford said the GGLMP decision was an early Christmas present, but there was now a need for a wider campaign to oppose the recommendations in the Victorian Environment & Planning Committee.
“We’ve won round one and we’re pleased they (dingoes) won’t be in the Grampians, but now we’ve got round two.
“We will have to start again, we will have to do a new petition and find a sheep breeder in each part of Victoria who will have a go.”
To read more on the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan click here, the impact of dingoes on threatened species click here and the NWDAP blog: Reintroducing dingoes -Why we should think twice
Turning back time is an impossible task. The bar has already moved some hundreds of years from first white settlement. The facts are that a livestock industry surrounds the Grampians National Park and supports a flourishing community of towns and cities. All of these would be severely impacted by the introduction of dingoes. If you don’t believe this, refer to other livestock regions across Australia. Some state authorities are building new dog fences to protect livestock. My take on the proposal to introduce dingoes to the national parks is that reinstatement of pre-settlement conditions should begin where some of the city-based proponents live, ie cities. Tear up the concrete and revert to natural vegetation, return all water to its source ie the rivers and allow the landscape to “heal” and return to “country” and remove the power grid and all mod cons, and allow the inhabitants to live in a natural state. See how that goes …..🤦♂️ Best regards, Jim Hoffmann
The re-introduction of dingos would be a major step in keeping the regions natural systems in balance. It would prevent the certain probability of the loss of an important balance of the region’s ecosystem, as well as a providing a greater chance of preventing environmental destruction by invasive species such as foxes and feral cats.
It is interesting to think of how the area was before white settlement and the mass expansion of farming into areas occupied by native animals, such as the dingo. At that time, there would have been environmental balance between all species, but these days, humans have disrupted that balance and it will take a lot of effort to return to those days. I absolutely adore wool, it is a most amazing material; however, I deplore the widespread killing of native dingoes by 1080 poisoning. Sheep farmers need to find options to co-exist with native fauna and secure a win-win outcome, as has been reached in other farming sectors in this nation.
Mr Mifsud says “NWDAP advised against the reintroduction of dingoes due to the risk they pose to threatened species and provided significant support and advice to regional producers in terms of scientific arguments against the proposal during the community consultation stage,”
Can Mr Mifsud explain how dingoes managed to lived with ‘threatened species’ for thousands of years before Europeans arrived, without wiping species out? I’d say today that, if conservation had a price tag, the cost of destruction to the landscape and animal habitat would be far greater than the money lost due to dingo predation. You don’t need to go far to see the poor results. Has Mr Mifsud looked at progressive graziers’ results, such as those on Noonbah or Wooleen, to learn how to improve the landscape and co-exist with our native animals – not wipe them out?
Mr Misfuds latest scientific evidence would not be biased by any chance?
One hugely important fact is there is more biodiversity where there are dingoes….
This is supported by the information that Mike Letnic has obtained by his research to present. This information includes the following observations.
Dingoes strongly reduce fox numbers. Dingoes stop kangaroo populations getting out of control. Controlling kangaroos stops the depletion of isolated water supplies such as bores, billabongs, small lakes and springs. There are more animal species and those species are in abundance in the ecosystems where there are dingoes too. Finally, where there are dingoes there are more plants and a greater diversity of plants. Now that’s nothing to scoff at.
The slight threat of predation on surrounding sheep producers is fairly minimal if dingoes are left in peace. They prefer their own prey species. Any stock losses can be reimbursed if there is proof of dingo predation. There are many proven non-lethal combinations of stock protection that has been recommended.