FRASER Island visitors and residents are urged to be watchful of dingoes during the Easter holidays.
Environment and Resource Management Minister Kate Jones said it was important visitors and residents did not feed or interact with dingoes, for both their own and the dingoes’ safety.
“The dingoes on Fraser Island are wild animals and should be left alone,” she said.
“The best food for native animals is the food they find themselves, and that is why it is important that dingoes do not learn to associate humans with food.
“Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers will be on duty across the island during the holiday period, working to ensure visitors are aware of these important safety messages.
“Families with children are strongly urged to camp in fenced campgrounds at Central Station, Dundubara, Lake Boomanjin, Dilli Village and Waddy Point.
“Parents should ensure children are supervised at all times, and should never allow them to walk alone.”
QPWS general manager (Marine) Terry Harper said when dingoes were fed or scavenged rubbish they could lose their hunting skills and start to depend on scraps and hand-outs.
This “free food”, which is often processed, could also cause health problems.
“Dingoes are not like domestic dogs. They may appear shy and hungry, particular females with growing young, but these are naturally lean, wild animals which should not be approached,” he said.
“If they are fed by visitors, they can lose their natural fear of humans and expect food from everybody.
“Animals which are given food can become a pest and may attack people after being fed.”
Ms Jones said the QPWS would always act in the best interest of protecting the natural values of Fraser Island and ensuring the safety of both people and dingoes.
Feeding dingoes and leaving food exposed on Fraser Island are offences which attract penalties of up to $4000. On-the-spot fines of $400 will be issued to anybody not complying.
To report a dingo incident contact a ranger or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).