Here we showcase a graphic sequence showing a Hybrid family structure found on the Sunshine Coast.
There has been much debate on this issue of wild dogs in urban areas. How to minimise impacts, control methods, education programs, responsible waste storage and removal are just some of the topics.
Sightings of "skinny" wild dogs causes unintentional and deliberate feeding by persons ignorant of the consequences. These animals become accustomed to humans and their environment, raise further litters of pups unable to perform their natural role as a higher order predator in their natural environment, and the cycle continues.
Comparing photographic evidence of those wild dogs from forested areas, rural lands East and West of the ranges, to those caught in suburbs of Brisbane, Bribie Island, Sunshine Coast to Townsville, indicate they are the progeny of dingo/dingo hybrid populations and not of feral domestic dogs.
The hybrid status of wild dog varies in different areas as some wild dogs caught in or around residential areas have the appearance of possibly being a pure dingo based on coat colour markings. Others caught in the same location have more sable (shepherd looking), brindle (striped), or patchy coat colours. It could be concluded that hybrid wild dog populations exist in their own right. Interaction with possible pure dingo species occurs, increasing the likelihood of higher densities of these hybrid wild dog populations.
Interactions, (mating) between dingo and domestic pets are inconsequential to the hybrid wild dog populations in Queensland. It could easily be argued that the biggest threat to Dingo gene pool is the threat posed to dingo by interactions with existing hybrid wild dog populations around settled areas and not from those domestic pet dogs living in the suburbs.Sunshine Coast - A recent control program.
This relatively small bushland habitat is managed by QPWS and is similar to that of others experiencing wild dog impacts. It borders agricultural land, small primary production, semi-rural and residential land. No reports of wild dogs impacting on these lands had been received prior to 2002.
Wild dog impacts began in early 2002 when an adult German Shepherd was killed by a pack of wild dogs and a machine operator on a nearby land-fill site was harassed by 11 wild dogs. Other incidents also occurred. Maroochy Shire Council commissioned a private pest animal contractor to monitor activity and report findings. Based on evidence at hand, control works were implemented. A flexible plan was designed to remove wild dogs, continue monitoring, involve QPWS land-managers and any willing neighbours. The following results were achieved while the program was active:
Trapped or shot by Ferals Out 27
1080 baiting campaign Unknown
Dogs remaining 3 Estimated
No fox or feral cats were sighted, monitored, trapped or shot by the contractor during the period. All the wild dogs destroyed were of similar coat colours, distinctive to the pack inhabiting this forest.
No re-infestation has occurred during the 18-month period since the control work was completed.Recent DNA testing of wild dogs caught in the Townsville Control Program indicated all were hybrids. However some were very close to being pure dingo. One domestic dog (shepherd) caught during the program was determined to be a feral domestic dog gone wild. Reported sightings of this lone dog dated back approx three years. This example aside, the proven existence of hybrid populations and almost pure dingoes Co-existing together in Townsville concludes that these interactions occur.For further reading on this subject, please see the thesis by Bethany Brown.
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