Sunday, August 1, 2010

Where are the dingos

The Australian dingo is disappearing. The question now is, should this feared predator be saved? Like the wolf in North America in the 1800's, the dingo is considered a dangerous predator that is a threat to livestock. The dingo is hated by much of Australia. On the other side, it is a part of their national identity.

What to do?

Where did the Australian dingo go? Once present throughout that country, the feared predator (Canis lupus dingo) in its current form is on its way to extinction as it is either killed or breeds and hybridizes with domesticated dogs. With the disappearance of the purebred dingo comes the loss of an important part of the region's ecosystem as well as a greater chance of environmental destruction by invasive species such as foxes and feral cats...

...Back in 2008 the Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment declared the dingo a threatened species and has now, finally, taken the first steps toward preventing the dingo's extinction by planning to set aside public land for dingo preservation. (No land has actually been set aside yet, however.)

Part of the problem is that so many Australians, to put it mildly, hate the dingo. Farmers see the predator as a pest and threat to livestock. There is also a history of dingo attacks on humans, typified by the oft-quoted line spoken by Meryl Streep in A Cry in the Dark, "the dingo ate my baby."

Read the rest here.

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