A Perillup wildlife sanctuary is playing an important role in preserving the bloodline of purebred Australian dingoes.
Mandy and John English have six purebred dingos in captivity on their 60ha Uralla Wildlife Sanctuary, 62km west of Mt Barker, a small area of which is purpose-built for the pre-release of animals back into the wild.
The duo, along with dozens of volunteers at the sanctuary, release about 80 animals – predominantly kangaroos, wallabies and euros – back into the wild each year, but are holding their dingo pack in captivity out of fear they will be culled if released.
“Research shows in areas where dingoes are allowed to behave in a natural way, little marsupials do better because the dingoes are doing a service by killing the introduced predators like foxes and cats,” Mrs English said.
“Everything has an order and place in the environment.
“But I know they are not going to survive if we release them because the Government’s going to poison them or shoot them, so what’s the point.” Dingoes have been declared pests of agriculture since 1976 and WA law require them to be controlled in agricultural and pastoral areas, predominantly by baiting and trapping.
Uralla’s six dingoes have all been DNA-tested by the University of New South Wales to ensure their bloodline is pure.
French tourist Camille Powroznik, 21, who has been volunteering at Uralla for almost three months, said she did not understand the harsh control measures on dingoes and admired their rugged beauty.
“Some of them are quite scary because they jump really high when we bring them food,” she said.
“It’s true they are wild and can kill native animals, but they are a native animal too, so why should we kill them.”