Byron Shire is home to dozens of dingoes that play a vital role in the health of our native ecosystems, and have a vital place in the creation stories of some of our First Nations people.
But these native animals are too often dismissed as ‘wild dogs’ and, in some cases, are caught up in trapping and other culling practices that target non-native species.
Now, steps are being taken to walk the fine line between protecting our dingoes without allowing feral dogs and foxes off the hook.
Motion recognising that dingoes are native
Byron Council passed a motion at last week’s meeting, recognising that dingoes are native to the Shire, have an important ecological role, and are worthy of protection and care.
Councillors will hold a dedicated workshop in the coming weeks to explore non-lethal tools and practices to manage dingoes on private property.
The workshop will also explore ways to avoid trapping, baiting, shooting and otherwise killing dingoes whilst still controlling other animals that are pests or are creating environmental damage.
Significance of dingo in creation story
During the public access section of the meeting, Minjungbal descendant, Lionel Currie, spoke of the significance of the dingo in his creation story.
‘The dingo is a very significant animal for my people,’ Mr Currie said.
Independent councillor, Sama Balson, who moved the dingo protection motion, described them as a ‘keystone species in the Shire’.
She told the chamber, ‘When we kill and trap dingoes, we are also taking out the apex predator that helps keep down the fox and feral cat population.’
Councillor Alan Hunter, also an Independent, said that local farmers needed to be part of the conversation.
‘I don’t think we’re truly representative here – there’s not enough representation of the farmers who’ve had to deal with dingoes for a long time,’ Cr Hunter said.
We are now letting local councils define zoological terms? Dingoes are from Eurasia, Aboriginals are from Africa. My cats identify as native, and I would trust the judgement of my cats over anything a local council decrees for political purposes. We need Native Equity. All species that have been here for centuries must be allowed to apply for ‘native’ status.
You, ‘Sir’ are ridiculous.
Haven’t you got angry letters to write about your favourite cheese and lollies getting their names changed?
You mean like writing into the paper complaining about the articles?
Dingoes are not native they are endemic.
Under the EPBC Act any flora or fauna established prior to 1400AD is classed as native. Every state and territory recognises the Dingo as a native species.
100s of native species did not originate here and arrived at different times and by different means.
Not originating here does not exclude an animal from being native.
Full of gratitude to Byron Council for their efforts to save the local native Dingoes
Nice picture of Dingoes Paul, but not many non-crossbreed/pure ones [originating from SE Asia] are left now.
‘Sir’ cats identifying as native is stupid. Dingoes migrated across a land bridge 20,000 years ago, and have evolved for a native status.
The whole ‘asian seafarers bought em over 4000 years ago’ was just a theory that was disproved when the genome of the dingo was sequenced showing no evidence of this.
Also, 99.9% of all wild canids are predominantly dingo, and 63% of them are pure.