AG wins cover of the year for dingo issue

By AG Staff 7 November 2013
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AG has won cover of the year at industry night The Maggies, for a photograph with a story.

WE’RE CHUFFED TO ANNOUNCE that the wistful eyes of our Fraser Island dingo cover won Australia’s popular vote two days ago. 

On Tuesday night, Australian Geographic’s issue 107 took out the best cover in the Science, Technology and Nature category at industry awards The Maggies, amid a field of strong contenders. 

Deputy editor John Pickrell was there to accept the gong.

Maggies award for pure-bred dingo 

The winning cover has particular resonance here at AG, after the long-running dingo controversy on Fraser Island came to our door.

A favourite spot for tourists, campers, four-wheel-drivers and families, Fraser Island is also home to Australia’s purest breed of dingo.

Following a number of attacks, the proximity of humans to a large dingo population has posed a complex conundrum for rangers – an issue that has continued for well over a decade. Locals, experts and rangers have debated the merits of culling, deterrence and feeding, and euthanising dingoes is now national parks policy if an animal becomes aggressive or too accustomed to human presence. 

The debate about dingoes 

The ten-month-old female dingo on the AG cover illustrated the complexities of the debate perfectly. She was humanly put down, along with her litter, after being deemed too habituated to human contact. 

The photographer, Dr Bradley Smith, is a behavioural science researcher who was working with dingoes as part of his PhD at the University of South Australia. 

A spate of correspondence following the story prompted us to cover the debate further in issue 108. It was an issue that brought us closer to our readers and showed us once again the value of strong and balanced in situ reporting. It’s also a beautiful image of which we’re very proud.