MidCoast Council urges Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens community not to feed dingoes

A dingo returning to where a person has been feeding it.

LOCALS around Hawks Nest are continually frustrated by well meaning individuals endangering the local dingo population by feeding them.

There are not too many communities in NSW where a stable population of dingoes are in residence.

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MidCoast Council is renewing its plea for members of the Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest communities, as well as visitors to the area, to refrain from feeding/interacting with dingoes.

This comes from an increasing number of reports to Council about locals and tourists feeding the animals.

“It’s really disappointing that we find ourselves back in this situation, such a short time after serious action had to be taken as a result of these types of interactions,” said Mat Bell, Council’s Senior Ecologist.

“We believe education is key and we would hate to see the need for control measures to be taken again.

“While these people may think they’re helping the dingoes, they’re actually doing them a great disservice.”

Council follows an adopted dingo management procedure that is a risk management model based on the successful program in place on Fraser Island.

Earlier this year, together with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services and Hunter Local Land Services, lethal control had to be taken to manage the escalating risks to community safety from a pack of sub-adult dingoes that had been involved in a spate of incidents with people and domestic pets.

These dingoes were being given access to human food in and around urban Hawks Nest.

Mat explained that when dingoes are fed by humans they can lose their inherent shyness and fear of people and the territory that they occur in becomes worth aggressively defending.

Sometimes within days, these animals can become highly territorial and exhibit increased aggression to domestic pets and people.

“It’s imperative that the community gets behind this important message and please, do not approach, encourage or feed the dingoes.

“We cannot have this continue, ultimately it’s the dingoes that suffer,” Mat added.

Council has an online reporting form for members of the public to share information about interactions and incidents with dingoes, while Rangers have commenced issuing penalties to anyone caught ignoring Dingo Smart advice.

Midcoast Council are continually publishing educational messages for the community.

These educational pieces clearly state:
– Dingoes are not dogs.

– Dingoes have a different body composition and are naturally thin to look at.

Dingoes should not be fed.

– Dingoes that are fed and become dependent on food handouts are often the dingoes that develop behaviour which leads to them being euthanized.


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