Meet 5 new dingo puppies born at the Australian Reptile Park

By AG Staff Writer 4 July 2016
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It’s hoped the new litter will help educate the public about the important role of this vulnerable Aussie species in the ecosystem.

The Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast has welcomed five dingo puppies bred in captivity over the autumn months.

With the dingo breeding cycle generally expected to yield two to three puppies, the litter of three boys and two girls born to resident dingoes Adina (two years old) and Fred (three years old) exceeded expectations.

The puppies will be fully reliant on mother Adina for the next three weeks as they start venturing out of their den.

The Australian Reptile Park breeds dingoes to educate visitors about the importance of the species within the ecosystem, to protect them from extinction and to dispel the myth that the dingo is a dangerous pest, according to a statement from the Park.

“Dingoes are being blasted, baited, tracked, shot and hunted in the wild because of their perceived damage to agriculture. However, killing dingoes removes them from the critical-weight eco-system, allowing feral foxes and cats to continuously increase the rate of mammal extinction,” said Tim Faulkner, General Manager of the Park and 2015 Australian Geographic Conservationist of the Year.

“If dingoes continue to be hunted, Australia will see another endangered species disappear, just like the Tasmanian Tiger, a marsupial which shared a similar role in the environment as the dingo,” added Tim.

Related: Outcast: the plight of the dingo

Dingoes are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Still, legislation deems the dingo a pest on private land in every mainland state and territory except the NT. Across the 60 per cent of SA outside the dog fence, dingoes are not even protected in national parks, but baiting is restricted to ensure its survival as a ‘wildlife species’.

In Victoria, the dingo is listed as a threatened species and protected in national parks under the Wildlife Act 1975, but is fair game on private land or within a 3km buffer of public land boundaries to safeguard livestock. The same rule applies in NSW, Queensland, SA and WA, where land managers are legally required to cull them.