About K'gari (Fraser Island) dingoes
A protected species
The survival of the K'gari (Fraser Island) dingoes relies on three management factors—education, engineering and enforcement. K'gari (Fraser Island) dingoes are part of the island ecology, and are protected by law. The Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy for K'gari (Fraser Island) (2013) uses dingo-deterrent fencing, enforcement (fines) and education campaigns to protect people and to help the dingoes retain a natural way of life.
Also see: K'gari (Fraser Island) dingo publications list for more references
The 2012 Ecosure review of the K'gari (Fraser Island) Dingo Management Strategy is also available.
K'gari (Fraser Island) World Heritage Area—part of the Great Sandy National Park—lies north of Brisbane (Australia), off Queensland’s Fraser Coast, near the cities of Maryborough and Hervey Bay, and the coastal town of Rainbow Beach.
The dingo Canis familiaris (dingo) is protected in Queensland national parks as a native species. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has a legal responsibility to conserve these populations on national parks and protected areas, even though the dingo is a declared pest outside of these areas.
Wildlife authorities recognise that K'gari (Fraser Island) dingoes may become the purest strain of dingo on the eastern Australian seaboard and perhaps Australia-wide (Woodall et al 1996 as quoted in K'gari (Fraser Island) dingo management strategy – review, December 2006, library document list) as they have not crossbred with domestic or feral dogs to the same extent as most mainland populations. Therefore, their conservation is of national significance.
On K'gari (Fraser Island), dingoes are normally a golden sandy colour. They are often born with black markings particularly on the back and tail and lose the black hair as they get older. Juveniles may retain black on their backs and sometimes on their tails. Most have white markings on their chests, tail tips and feet—described as socks. Some have black muzzles and all have pricked ears and bushy tails. Tail tips, socks and any fighting scars are unique to each individual dingo and these help in individual dingo identification.
- Also see: What does a dingo look like?
Adult dingoes on K'gari (Fraser Island) stand more than 60cm high, about 1.2m long and have an average weight of around 18kg. This is a higher average mass than dingoes from Kakadu (16kg), the Victorian Highlands (15kg) and Central Australia (13kg) (Corbett, L 1995, The Dingo in Australia and Asia, UNSW Press, Sydney). The dingoes from these three areas were also about 1.2m long, indicating that K'gari's (Fraser Island) dingoes are about the same size as dingoes from other areas and, if anything, a bit heavier. They certainly are not leaner than dingoes from other areas.
- Also see: Dingo body weight comparison table
Most female dingoes become sexually mature at two years of age but some may produce pups in their first year. Unlike the domestic dog, the dingo breeds only once a year. Gestation takes about 63 days and litters of 1–10 pups (normally 4–6) are born and cared for (whelped) during the winter months. Dens are hidden in areas, such as a hollow log or in a hole dug under the roots of a tree. Pups usually become independent at 3–4 months, or if in a pack, when the next breeding season begins.
- Also see: When do the dingoes have pups?
Dingoes produce several types of vocalisations. They howl to announce their location and find out where other dingoes are in the landscape, mostly at night to keep the pack together and to warn others to stay away. Packs often howl in a chorus, which may be more intimidating to other packs. Strangely, K'gari (Fraser Island) dingoes often howl at the sound of aeroplanes landing or taking off. Dingoes also produce bark-howls, which are agitated calls made when the animals are alarmed. Other dingo sounds are moans and snuffs. Wild dingoes have not been recorded to bark, but captive dingoes sometimes learn to bark from nearby domestic dogs.
Watch out—dingoes can bite. A dingo is a wild animal and can be unpredictable and dangerous.
- Read more and be dingo-safe on K'gari (Fraser Island).
- Temporary Closure Beach Camping Zone 9 (Diray and Carree) 24 August to 24 November 2023
- Temporary closure of beach camping zones 3, 4, and 5 for wongari (dingo) management 11 August to 1 December 2023
- Woralie Road Dump Ezy Temporary Closure 13 July 2023 to 13 July 2024
- Park Alert-Tukkee Wurroo (Indian Head) walking track temporary closure 14 June 2021 to 15 December 2023
- Happy Valley grid maintenance - temporary road closure 9 October 2023
- Cornwells Road (Kingfisher Hill) road repairs 9–13 October 2023
- Poison canisters washing up on Southeast Queensland beaches 4 September 2023 to 31 March 2024
- Dingo (Wongari) Seasonal Information - Whelping Season 1 June to 30 November 2023
- Ngkala Rocks to Sandy Cape Beach Conditions 24 August to 24 November 2023
- Threatening dingo activity - Eli Creek and Waddy Point 24 June to 8 October 2023
- K'gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk - advanced booking restriction 1 November 2023 to 29 February 2024
- Cornwells Road, No Heavy Traffic 31 August 2022 to 6 December 2023
Increased fines for disturbing, feeding dingoes
It is illegal to disturb or feed wongari (dingo), which includes attracting them with food or food waste. On K’gari (formerly Fraser Island) an increased maximum fine of $12,384 and an on-the-spot fine of $2,476 now apply to those people who break the law. Be dingo-safe.