Call for removal of ‘cruel’ dingo trackers intensifies
With over 9300 signatures in under a month, concerned residents are increasingly showing their disapproval to tracking collars on Fraser Island dingoes.
With the hashtag #takeitoff, protesters have voiced their opposition to two dingoes wearing the collars which they believe is heavy, cumbersome, and cruel.
With one female dingo, known as Nunyara, wearing the device for over 12 months.
The take it off campaign is headed up by Connect 2 Wildlife 4 environment's Marie-Louise Sarjeant.
She believes Nunyara is suffering from the weight of the collar, and thinks a more 'modern' device should be used.
"This is/was a potential breeding female dingo that was healthy and now looks thin and in poor condition and there are doubts that she is still alive," she said.
"This is a shameful look for Australia to have such backward methods of animal management on a protected unique animal, the iconic Fraser Island dingoes, on a heritage listed Island."
In response, a spokesman for the Department of Environment and Science confirmed Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) uses lightweight ear tags and tracking collars (global positioning system) to monitor wongari (dingo) movements on K'gari (Fraser Island).
"Data from tracking collars is used by QPWS to better understand the species, improve management strategies and help keep dingoes, residents and visitors to K'gari safe," they said.
They said the collars did not disadvantaged or restricted the dingoes, and both animals have been observed by rangers successfully hunting and interacting with other dingoes.
"QPWS rangers closely monitor animals wearing a collar and will remove the collar if the animal's condition is negatively impacted," they said.
"Tracking collars have been used to monitor dingoes since 2011. The use of tracking collars is an established and accepted practice and is approved by an independent Animal Ethics Committee."
The DES spokesman said the device provided valuable behavioural information, especially during the COVID lockdown.
"The female who has been wearing a collar for 12 months has provided unique, never before witnessed intelligence about her seasonal movements," they said.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to observe behavioural changes throughout the closure of K'gari in an absence of people, and her current behaviour with the return of visitors and campers."