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Heads up for pups – Be dingo-safe! these winter holidays





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Heads up for pups: It is important for wongari and their pups to be left alone, both for your safety and the wellbeing of the animal.

Photo credit: Luke Barrowcliffe © Queensland Government

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is reminding visitors to World Heritage-listed island K’gari (Fraser Island) to Be dingo-safe! and keep a heads up for wongari pups these winter holidays.

Following the annual wongari (dingo) breeding season in March and April, female wongari are now giving birth to, and caring for, their litters.

Wongari usually give birth to between four and six pups at a time and will care for them for about two months before they become independent.

Wongari gestation takes about nine weeks and once new-born pups arrive, their parents may be more active or even aggressive as they need to find food for themselves and their pups.

Fraser Coast Ranger in Charge Linda Behrendorff said it is important for wongari and their pups to be left alone, both for your safety and the wellbeing of the animal.

“Although wongari, and especially their pups, may look like cute domestic dogs, they are wild animals and should be treated as such,” Ranger Behrendorff said.

“Like many mammals, wongari are protective of their young and may become defensive if they feel there is a threat to them or their young.

“It’s important to never feed dingoes or leave food where it can be accessed by animals.”

Ranger Behrendorff said thanks to the ongoing remote camera deployments and trial of collar cameras on Orchid Beach wongari in 2021, rangers and researchers had been able to more closely observe how the canines raise their pups in the wild.

“This never-before-seen point of view, from the eyeline of the K’gari wongari, provides a deeper insight into the daily lives of these animals and their pups,” she said.

“Since the camera collar trial, we have been able to watch the wongari clean, feed and play with their pups.

“If you see wongari and their pups on K’gari, remember to give them space, as K’gari is their place and it’s important that they can remain wild animals.”

In order to keep wongari wild and to stay safe while on K’gari, visitors, tour operators and residents are advised to Be dingo-safe! on K’gari. In particular:

  • NEVER feed dingoes.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of children, even small teenagers.
  • Walk in groups and carry a stick.
  • Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction.
  • Camp in fenced areas when possible.
  • Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat).
  • Never store food or food containers in tents.
  • Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.

Families with young children are urged to camp in fenced QPWS camping areas at Lake Boomanjin, Central Station, Dundubara, Waddy Point, Wathumba and eastern beach fenced areas (Wongai, One Tree Rocks, Cornwells, Eli), or at fenced private camping areas at Dilli Village or Cathedral Beach.

All wongari encounters should be reported to DES immediately. This can be done by alerting the nearest QPWS ranger, emailing dingo.ranger@des.qld.gov.au, or phoning (07) 4127 9150 – mobile phone charges may apply.

Take note of location, vehicle registration (if relevant), wongari ear tag colour, number and which ear.

Read further information about wongari on K’gari.

View a full list of Park Alerts.

Sourced:

Website: www.des.qld.gov.au

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