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Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

Solé’s on a mission to help local dingoes

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A local advocate wants to tear down the myths about dingoes, and stop their treatment as wild dogs, which she says they are not.

Launched in June last year, the Northern Rivers Dingo Advocacy group hopes to educate people about our local dingoes. Group founder, Solé Herrer, there are too many falsehoods about this ancient canid, whose lineage split very early on from today’s domestic dog.

‘Dingoes are still classed as a pest species by the government and the agriculture industry. They renamed the dingo a “wild dog” and they are not!’, Herrer told The Echo.

Local dingoes to this area are not ginger

Herrer says the local dingoes to this area are not ginger, like the coastal and inland groups. ’Dingoes come in many colours, because they need camouflage in their habitat. The rainforest dingoes are very dark and sometimes tri-coloured, which often leads people to think they are wild dogs, as they look like black kelpies.

‘There is no need to fear them. They are monogamous and family orientated, and they like to stick close to their den. They are a keystone species – one of Australia’s apex predators.’

Many myths 

Herrer says there are so many myths surrounding dingoes. ‘They didn’t arrive on a rowboat with Asian sea people – there is no evidence of that. There is, however, evidence of them being here for over 50,000 years. They also can, and do, bark’. 

‘They also don’t live in packs like dogs, but in family groups.’ Herrer would like to see predator-friendly, non-lethal management of the local families. 

‘They regulate their own population, they are monogamous and only the dominant pair is allowed to breed once a year. They do not like to breed with dogs, and in this area there is a very low percentage of mixing with dogs.’

Herrer says one of the big problems is people breeding them or interbreeding them with dogs for pets or work animals. 

‘They are not “designed” to be domestic pets.’

Herrer says she wants to work with others to educate the community about dingoes and their importance in the local ecology.

Solé can be contacted via [email protected]

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  1. Dingos are beautiful and incredibly intelligent native animals.
    They deserve to be protected at all costs. The local race differ from the inland and northern forms, they are Warrigals and are shorter and do exhibit a greater range of usually darker colourings. I fear very few of these magnificent animals survive the sustained and ignorant history of poisoning, which also claimed those remaining Thylacine populations, which persisted in the Clarence Valley until the late 1960s.
    More power to Solé Herrer and her efforts to educate the public, unfortunately, government departments seem far too entrenched in their ignorance to learn.
    Cheers, G”)

    • The Australian Anglo-Celt is a unique race. They deserve to be protected at all costs. Particularly the inland variety.

  2. Appreciate the interest and advocacy but a few unverified “facts” here:
    – they didn’t come from Asia and have been here 50 000 years – science does not support this assertion
    – they regulate their own population – really? I’m unclear on this one too

    I’m suspicious there is a lot of romanticism around the dingo here – while I agree they should be protected, some of the recent research on the species is probably relevant here.

  3. Yes, these are dingoes we are talking about. Not ‘wild dogs’. 99.9 percent of Australian canids are dingoes, not dogs. And for those wondering, no, there is no evidence of dingoes arriving on boats. They have been on australia for 20,000 years, not 4000, DNA shows. DNA also shows they are different to dogs. Good on Sole, and curse whoever is fuelling the ‘wild dog’ propaganda.

  4. Let’s get this straight.
    Pure dingo = ‘Dingo’ and protected by law.
    Part dingo only = pest wild dog, not protected, hazard to pets, humans, livestock.

      • Eve, this is actually a Furphy spread widely in certain communities.
        ‘Pure dingos’ in NSW National Parks are fully protected.
        There are even on-going NPWS schemes to cull dingo cross-breeds and trying to maintain genetic purity.
        Dingo communities can actually be beneficial to the management of other native/invasive species.
        Cases are known locally where they valiantly defend their territory against feral-dog interlopers – and kill them.

        • After contacting NSW national parks to verify pure dingoes (still called wild dogs) are not protected.
          Quote: “because dingoes are classified as a breed of dog and there is no protection for particular breeds of dog in NSW N.P’s.”

          • Did you ask them if I could legally go into a national park and start blowing away dingoes and deploying chemical weapons against them? Because you are implying I can! Your also implying the rangers don’t do pest control. I bet they don’t and you can’t kill a dingo in a national park.

          • Tony this is a complicated management issue and cannot be sorted by a single (phone?) enquiry.
            To complete knowledge & research, maybe you should investigate ‘Schedule 3’ areas.
            You will find that protection is afforded to dingoes there, where they have the best chance of maintaining high % DNA purity.
            Dingoes have every right to be considered “native fauna” – [as long as they do not stray too far… ]

    • In QLD, we get $200 for taking the strip of fur from their back into the local council office, as they are an invasive foreign species.

  5. In reply to Christian Steinberg. Yes I believe that in QLD they would be considered an invasive foriegn species. QLD is the Texas of Oz. I love QLD but basically if it moves shoot it , if it grows by itself clear it & if it flows dam it. The last frontier of sanctioned uneducated redneck pride. Thankfully , some graziers are slowly resisting the outback pub bs and now looking after the land and nature.

    • Maate – I feel you are yourself a bit ‘behind the times’ with that anti-rural rant.
      Many landowners, Farmers & Graziers manage their land, environment and wildlife magnificently over many decades.
      They generally do far better than NPWS and at no cost to the Community.


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