A few ruining it for many, including the dingos

5 JANUARY 2001

A Charles Sturt University study on dingos on Fraser Island has found that the actions of a few tourists are ruining the enjoyment of seeing wild dingos for most other visitors to the island.

A Charles Sturt University study on dingos on Fraser Island has found that the actions of a few tourists are ruining the enjoyment of seeing wild dingos for most other visitors to the island.

"As we saw with yesterday's (Monday 30 April) tragic accident, this also now places the long-term safety of the Fraser Island dingo population in jeopardy," said Jonathon Howard, senior author of the study.

"When tourists receive their permits to visit the island, they receive a brochure describing how dingos should be treated and on possible dangers posed by the population. There are also signs around the island telling visitors how to handle the animals.

"But our research shows that a small number of people are not reading or taking notice of the material and so make it difficult for all other visitors. These people do not know how to behave towards dingos. They encourage dingos to change their natural eating and social habits, changing from shy, reclusive animals to being at times very aggressive."

Mr Howard said that culling all dingos on Fraser Island was not the answer.

"Initially, there may need to be a limited culling of animals who have learned bad habits from tourists, as you cannot quickly change things that they have taken a long time to learn. This is sad, because our research shows the majority of tourists enjoy seeing dingos. But for the long-term, it is the tourists who need to change their habits," he said.

"Perhaps it is the visitors who cannot take note of the recommendations that need to be excluded from Fraser Island."

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