Influence of dingoes on sheep distribution in Australia

Allen, B. L. ORCID: and West, P. (2013) Influence of dingoes on sheep distribution in Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal, 91 (7). pp. 261-267. ISSN 0005-0423


Objective: To describe the influence of the dingo (Canis lupus dingo) on the past, present and future distributions of sheep in Australia.

Design: The role of the dingo in the rise and fall of sheep numbers is reviewed, revised data are provided on the present distribution and density of sheep and dingoes, and historical patterns of sheep distribution are used to explore the future of rangeland sheep grazing.

Results: Dingoes are a critical causal factor in the distribution of sheep at the national, regional and local levels. Dingo predation contributed substantially to the historical contraction of the sheep industry to its present-day distribution, which is almost exclusively confined to areas within fenced dingo exclusion zones. Dingo populations and/or their influence are now present and increasing in all sheep production zones of Australia, inclusive of areas that were once ‘dingo free’.

Conclusions: Rangeland production of wool and sheep meat is predicted to disappear within 30–40 years if the present rate of contraction of the industry continues unabated. Understanding the influence of dingoes on sheep production may help refine disease response strategies and help predict the future distribution of sheep and their diseases.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2016 03:59
Last Modified: 22 May 2017 07:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: Canis lupus dingo; livestock production; sheep grazing; sheep production; small ruminants; wild dog predation
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified
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