The effects of lethal control on the conservation values of Canis lupus dingo

Allen, B. L. (2012) The effects of lethal control on the conservation values of Canis lupus dingo. In: Wolves: biology, behavior and conservation. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, United States, pp. 79-108. ISBN 978-162100916-0

Abstract

The need to conserve terrestrial apex predators is internationally recognized because most of these predators are relatively rare. Derived from the grey wolf (Canis lupus), dingoes (C. l. dingo) are the largest terrestrial predator in Australia, but they are not threatened by decreasing numbers per se. Rather, hybridization with domestic dogs is changing the genetic integrity of dingo populations despite their widespread and common occurrence. Additionally, maintaining the role of dingoes in suppressing mesopredators and indirectly protecting faunal biodiversity is promoted as a key dingo conservation goal. By extension, lethal dingo control programs aimed at mitigating livestock losses have come under increased scrutiny for their perceived negative effects on biodiversity conservation. This study discusses the effects of lethal control on these two conservation values of dingoes using historical and contemporary datasets from arid Australia as an example. From historical data, it is shown that baiting typically occurred infrequently, though periods of spatially and temporally intensive control has the ability to reduce dingo abundance when conducted repeatedly over many years. From contemporary data, it is shown that sporadic and spatially restricted dingo control practices have little effect on the persistence of dingoes. It is concluded that contemporary dingo control practices may provide a catalyst for localized hybridization, but the ecosystem function of dingoes is unlikely to be altered by current control practices in any significant way. Ongoing lethal dingo control may still be practiced in an ecologically conservative manner while continuing to protect livestock production values.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 01:33
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 05:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: Apex predator; Canis lupus dingo; Hybridization; Lethal control; Mesopredator release; Sodium monofluoroacetate (1080)
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29455

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