Warning over increased dingo activity

Published on 23 February 2021

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MidCoast Council is urging residents and visitors around Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest to be aware of increasing dingo/wild dog activity, including instances of aggressive behaviour towards people and pets.

There have been a number of reports received in recent weeks of dingoes threatening and even attacking residents and visitors and Council is urging the community to take safety precautions and be mindful of wild dog activity in the area.

“The reports of residents and tourists feeding and encouraging dingoes is very concerning and the increased reports of threatening behaviour are linked to this,” said Council’s Senior Ecologist, Mat Bell.

Council has been working with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Local Land Services to develop more uniform dingo/wild dog management procedures in the local area.

But Mat said it’s imperative all residents and landowners, especially caravan park operators, know their responsibilities as well. 

“We know that once dingoes become comfortable or confident with people, their behaviours can escalate quite quickly, and this begins when people feed them,” said Mat.

“So we’re asking locals, visitors and tourist operators to never feed dingoes or allow them to have access to food, including rubbish, they shouldn’t be encouraged in any way.

“Some people see a dingo and think it is under-fed. We need to recognise that dingoes are naturally very lean and they are very capable and effective at finding their own food, naturally ranging widely across the landscape.”

Council is in the process of commissioning and installing new signage to promote awareness of dingo safe practices as well as educating caravan park owners and operators. 

The public signs should be installed in prominent public areas by the start of March.

“Control of dingoes in an urban context is difficult and sometimes very distressing,” said Mat.

“Council has always maintained a register of community reports on dingoes/wild dogs and has been monitoring the behaviours of specific animals, which has been made easier with the introduction of a new register on our website to ensure all details are captured.”

If any members of the community have observed and are concerned with the behaviour of a dingo/wild dog or have been involved in a threatening encounter, Council is urging them to log the details on their online form at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/dingomanagement.