Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Plight of the Dingo

We were impressed with Australian Alison Oborn's dedication to the preservation of the dingo, Australia's own (albeit imported) wild dog. Here's a piece she wrote challenging the argument that the dingo should be exterminated:

"The dingo isn't native to Australia and only arrived here 3500-4500 years ago. ­ It is just a mongrel dog from Asia and we should just kill the whole bloody lot.

I often hear and read this stance used as an argument as to why the dingo should have no place here on Australian shores and should in fact be kept on the vermin list. It is very effective in convincing the average person that this animal is feral and non native to Australia and so should be classified in the newly arrived feral category such as the fox, the cat and the rabbit.

It is used time and time again in the belief that it will help their cause to eradicate this ecologically important animal, and many do actually accept this without putting too much thought into just how long 4000 years really is in the time line.

Let me help put this into perspective for you - let's take a brief look at history.

We will start at approximately 4000 years ago when the dingo was thought to have first arrived on our shores:·
  • The Sumerians were still in existence, although about to disappear as recognisable people after being over run by the Amorites.
  • Babylon existed and was heavily into agriculture·
  • Troy was also in existence.·
  • The Sahara desert was still fertile and green.·
  • The wheel was just being introduced, especially on the Egyptian chariots. ·
  • Although metal was being introduced for tools in certain circles and areas, the average person was still using stone tools.
  • During the dingo's first 1000 years here in Australia, great names such as Confucius, King Solomon, Homer, Pythagoras, Ramses II were living out their lives around the world.
  • During the next thousand years the likes of Socrates and Plato and Alexander the Great were now living out their lives too.
  • The dingo had already been in Australia approx 1500-2000 years when Stonehenge was being built in the UK, when Sparta (yes, that nation featured in the movie 300) was still strong and the Roman Empire was contemplating expansion.

I could point out many more events that give you an idea of just how long the dingo really has been Australian, but I think you will be starting to understand the reality of how ludicrous this non-native argument is by now.

These animals have been on our shores a long time and have certainly had plenty of time to adapt and become an integral part of the ecosystem. Studies show that they keep the ecosystem healthy and to lose our apex predator would impact greatly on this fragile land.

Some elements of the farming community will also have us believe that these dingoes are responsible for the 20 native species of fauna that have disappeared off our shores over the last 200 years or so. They would have you believe that the dingo is munching it's way relentlessly through our wildlife and so is a scourge to the nation.

The question I would be asking these people is how come this has only become a major problem in the last 200 years or so and not for the prior 4000 years before that?

Why is it that this appalling extinction rate seems to coincide with the arrival of white Europeans to this shore, who brought with them European farming practices, which were never sustainable or suitable for such an ancient and fragile continent.

I will finish with one more important event to remember to bring things into true perspective, our dingo had already been trotting round and adapting to our Australian bush for approximately 2000 years before the most famous name known to the western world was born in Bethlehem.

Yes...our dingo was well established here in our ecosystem when Jesus Christ was born and true Christianity as we know it began.

Surely after all this time, the dingo has earned a title of Australian Native and not the 'feral pest' that it has at the moment.

Maybe instead of driving yet another mammalian species into extinction, we should be finding a middle ground with the agricultural industry and the environmentalists and put these wrongs right and save this magnificent species before all we are left with are photos and the condemnation of future generations."

Well said Alison!

Visit her Facebook page here:

You can also read an enlightening article about how the dingo may be helping to save other Australian native animals here:

And another thing - look how smart they are!

On a final note - guess what dog breed features a dingo in its lineage? The Red and Blue Heeler (also known as the Australian Cattle Dog)! By crossing native Dingoes with Collies and other herding dogs, Australian George Elliott developed the Red Heeler, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, in 1840. Farmers were impressed with the breed’s toughness and work ethic, and they quickly became popular as cattle herders. Red and Blue Heelers continue to be popular today among farmers and pet owners, who value their intelligence and companionship.

1 comment:

  1. Dingo is a wild breed of dog. They are kept by some groups of primitive man in Australia as an emergency source of food and hunting partners.

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