Dingo Defence Ammunition
Taken from ABC Rural
Surprise finding: dog baiting increases stock loss
By Suzannah Baker
Research suggests baiting wild dogs increases stock losses.
Dr Lee Allen, a zoologist with Biosecurity Queensland, found baiting changes the pack structure, meaning younger inexperienced dogs will target calves instead of kangaroos and other prey.
He says research proved properties that baited had more stock losses than those with a dog population but no baiting program.
“No one was more surprised than I to get those results.”
He says there was a situation where two graziers were right next door to each other, only separated by a four-barb fence, and the one baiting had more calf losses than the one not.
After a four-year experiment, he found the same results.
“You had a 30 per cent predation loss on one side of the property and no detectible loss on the other one,” Dr Allen said.
“One where we had baited twice that year and the other where we hadn’t controlled dogs for several years and there were dogs there but no predation loss.
“What we’ve concluded from there is the impact of baiting on the social organisation of the dingoes creates a disturbance.
“You basically create a dispersal sink where you have young dispersing dingos from pups from the previous year and they don’t have the pack size or the hunting experience to be able to handle those larger prey.
“They’re then left with the problem of how to feed themselves and it’s basically getting a whole bunch of young teenagers together and they get up to all sorts of strife.”
Dr Allen says that’s when there will be calf losses and torn ears.
After 30 years working in the field, he says he’s had to change his mindset.
“I found it very hard to believe in my earlier years,” he said.
“It’s really been a journey for me, it’s been 30 years in the making. Originally I worked in the area of operations and co-ordinating pest animal control around the state, trying to get people into baiting.”
Dr Allen says it’s a complete mindset change and for graziers it will take some time and more research before they completely come on board with the idea that baiting isn’t preventing stock losses.
Important article on the myths about Dingoes.
Dingo Myths Feb 13