The Christmas/New Year holidays are one of the busiest times for visitors on K’gari (Fraser Island), and a season of high activity for the local dingo population.
Dingoes can be unpredictable at this time of year, and Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch is urging all visitors and residents to act dingo-safe at all times.
“Summer coincides with dingo pups learning survival skills, so these young dingoes might show dominance-testing. This behaviour can be mistaken for playing, but it’s actually about testing their place in the dingo pack,” Ms Enoch said.
“Sometimes this dominance-testing is directed toward people, and this can be a high-risk situation with an estimated 100-200 dingoes roaming K’gari’s 166,000 hectares.
“That’s why it’s strongly recommended that families with young children camp or stay in a fenced area while on the island.”
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Principal Ranger Ross Belcher said that during holiday periods, rangers increased patrols to spread dingo-safe messages.
“QPWS rangers speak to campers, day tourists, resort management and staff about reducing the risk of negative interactions between dingoes and people,” Mr Belcher said.
“The island now has 24 dingo fences, at major camping areas, some hikers’ camps, towns, resorts, waste transfer stations, and some picnic areas.
“These have been fitted in the best interests of both people and animals, and help to ensure K’gari remains a place for all to enjoy.”
Some dingo-safe tips for the holiday period:
- NEVER feed dingoes
- Always stay within arm’s reach of children and small teenagers
- Walk and sit in groups
- Do not run or jog – you could trigger a negative dingo interaction
- Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat moored near the shore)
- Never store food or food containers in tents
- Secure all rubbish, fish and bait
If you feel threatened by a dingo, remain calm and confident. Dominance testing is very unlikely to escalate if people stay calm.
- Stand up to your full height, face the dingo, and keep your arms close to your body
- While facing the dingo, calmly back away to a safe area, preferably a vehicle or fenced area
- If you are with others, stand back to back, and confidently call for help. Do not run or wave your arms
Visitors are encouraged to report a negative dingo interaction to rangers at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 4127 9150.
Further information on being dingo-safe on Fraser Island can be found at npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/dingo-safe.html.
Buy your camping permit and vehicle access permit for the holidays or check K’gari conditions reports and park alerts by visiting npsr.qld.gov.au.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch