A comment on the influence of dingoes on the Australian sheep flock

Authors: David Forsyth, Andrew Woolnough, Dale Nimmo, Euan Ritchie, Malcolm Kennedy, Anthony Pople and Ian Watson

Published in: Australian Veterinary Journal, volume 92, number 12 (December 2014)

Allen and West recently proposed that dingoes (Canis dingo, including hybrids with feral dogs C. lupus familiaris) are a critical causal factor in the decline of Australia’s sheep (Ovis aries) flock and implied that dingoes would cause the rangeland sheep industry to disappear within 30−40 years.

We agree that dingo predation can reduce the profitability of affected sheep properties and has important negative social effect on rural communities, and that exclusion fences and a range of lethal control methods are options for reducing those negative effects.

However, we argue that the importance of dingoes as a cause of the decline in Australia’s sheep flock has been overstated.

Forsyth D, Woolnough AP, Nimmo D, Ritchie EG, Kennedy M, Pople A, Watson I (2014) A comment on the influence of dingoes on the Australian sheep flock. Australian Veterinary Journal, 92: 461–462. PDF DOI