WARNING – CONFRONTING IMAGE: A heartbreaking photo showing a protected dingo lying dead on a sandy beach has been shared by Queensland authorities as they warn drivers to slow down and obey speed limits.
Taken at K’gari (Fraser Island) last week, the animal, known locally as a wongari lies among a sea of tyre-tracks that have carved up the otherwise pristine wilderness. The sign to its right confirms the speed ahead is limited to just 40km/h.
It’s been conceded by rangers that without public assistance it may never be known who killed the animal and left it on the beach, so they’re pleading to anyone with information to contact them. It’s the 17th known vehicle fatality on the island since 2000.
Ranger Dan Novak characterised the animals as “unpredictable” and issued some advice to drivers:
Be prepared to slow down or stop when you encounter a dingo
Give animals ample space to move away from your vehicle
Pay attention to new dingo signage that has been erected
Use your hazard lights to warn other drivers
“K’gari is the wongari’s place so we need to give them space, and rangers have installed new signage to remind drivers to be dingo-aware,” Mr Novak said, adding that retrieving dingo bodies distresses Butchulla Traditional Owners.
Dingoes elsewhere in Australia killed despite cultural significance
Conserving dingoes on K'gari is particularly important, because despite them being declared a native species and having special cultural associations with Indigenous people, the island is one of the few complete ecosystems in Australia where dingoes are protected.
In some regional areas, kills are strung in trees, sometimes confounding tourists visiting from overseas. Exclusion fencing has also been used to cut the species off from thousands of hectares of its native range across Queensland and Western Australia where they have been labelled vermin and wild dogs.
If anyone has information about the dingo killed on K'gari, they are urged to contact the Department of Environment and Science on (07) 4127 9150.
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