Learning to Live with the Dingo: Understanding the Human Dimensions of Predator Management in Australia
Livestock producers across Australia are at war with the dingo, who poses a threat to their stock and their livelihoods.
At the same time, governments pour never-ending resources into managing dingoes with little knowledge about whether their approaches are effective. This system isn’t working. Today, scientists globally are acknowledging the important role that predators play in regulating ecosystems and their potential in changing how we manage wildlife. In Australia, not only can dingoes play a role in suppressing kangaroos and introduced pests, but scientists are finding that lethal management of dingoes can be counter-productive to reducing livestock losses. Changing this system is difficult, so alongside ecological and agricultural research, investigation into the social and political contexts preventing progress is essential. Through historical and contemporary analysis, I investigate what shapes contemporary dingo management decisions, focusing on farmer attitudes and experiences as well as public perceptions and awareness. My research seeks to understand how coexistence can be possible, changing the way we conduct wildlife management to the benefit of biodiversity and rural communities.