Camera collars to monitor behaviour of Fraser Island dingoes

By AAP 8 June 2021
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
New camera collars will be trialled on Fraser Island dingoes in an attempt to monitor the behaviour of the animals and observe their human interactions.

Wild dingoes on Fraser Island will be fitted with high-tech camera collars so the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) can observe and monitor their behaviour, particularly around people.

Following a recent influx of human interactions with dingoes, the QPWS says the initiative is targeted at management of the high-risk animal. 

Two dingoes have been fitted with camera collars around the Orchid Beach residential area and the light-weight devices will be worn for up to three months.

The collar will then be released from the animal via a timed drop off mechanism.

QPWS Acting Regional Director Stephen Price says the use of the GPS tracking collars will highlight their movements and interactions on the island. 

“Rangers will be able to track the wongari (dingo) and download images to see where the animal has been and how it is behaving within its natural environment and around people,” he said. 

“Several wongari have been loitering around Orchid Beach, and it is obvious from their condition and their lack of fear of people that they had become habituated through being fed.

“Feeding and attracting wongari can have serious consequences – as we saw with the attack on a child at Orchid Beach recently – and can result in euthanasia of the animals.”

Related: Outcast: the plight of the dingo

Mr Price said tracking collars have been used globally to track and assist in managing animal-human interactions and are approved by an independent Animal Ethics Committee.

“We have used tracking collars on K’gari regularly since 2011 to learn more about the movements of the wongari and to continue to develop better management programs,” he said.

“Experienced rangers on the island will closely monitor the condition of the wongari wearing collars, but previous studies have shown the collars have not disadvantaged or restricted them, as they are a strong and highly resilient species.

“Anyone who sees a wongari wearing a collar is urged to exercise caution and give them their distance, as they may be prone to demonstrating dominant behaviour.”