Wild dogs research

 

Wild dogs include dingoes, feral domestic dogs and hybrids. Source: Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

Wild dogs are a significant pest animal in Australia. They are widespread in Queensland, the Northern Territory and much of Western Australia and South Australia, as well as being present in parts of New South Wales and Victoria. Wild dogs are known to have a significant detrimental effect on the agricultural sector, but they also cause adverse social impacts and are perceived to cause environmental damage. ABARES examined these impacts in three studies using a mix of economic analysis, interviews with wild dog management groups and a national survey of landholders. The findings from the three studies can inform planning of future investments and development of strategies in wild dog management.

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An integrated assessment of the impact of wild dogs in Australia

Authors: Santhi Wicks, Kasia Mazur, Patricia Please, Saan Ecker and Benjamin Buetre

An integrated assessment of the impact of wild dogs in Australia evaluates the economic, environmental and social impacts of wild dogs in Australia. It assesses the costs and benefits of investing in wild dog management to prioritise future investments using a cost-benefit analysis framework. Integrating the economic impacts of wild dogs on Australian agriculture with non-market environmental and social impacts enabled a more accurate estimation of the return to the entire Australian community of investments to control wild dogs.

The study found significant economic and non-market benefits associated with wild dog management. At least three key factors were identified to improve the management of wild dogs in Australia:

  • First, there are likely to be benefits associated with government or industry bodies providing a coordination role. Securing cooperation of all landholders, including private and government—the so called 'nil tenure' approach—is central to the effective management of wild dogs.
  • Second, the psychological stress suffered by individuals with direct experience with wild dogs is significant and comparable to that suffered by individuals experiencing other traumatic events. There may be a role for government to monitor the extent of this stress and ensure adequate support is available to those who require it.
  • Third, there may also be a role for government to invest directly in wild dog management to capture the non-market benefits identified in the study. The magnitude of that investment is not known. The benefit-cost analyses show that there are positive returns to current investments. There are likely to be benefits to additional investment, but the level of investment that generates the greatest market and non-market returns was not able to be determined using a benefit-cost analysis approach and requires further research.

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An intergrated assessment of the impact of wild dogs in Australia PDF 983.5 MB

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Participatory wild dog management: Views and practices of Australian wild dog management groups

Authors: Saan Ecker, Heather Aslin, Halina Zobel-Zubrzycka and Bill Binks

Participatory wild dog management: Views and practices of Australian wild dog management groups examines the features of Australian wild dog management groups, particularly in terms of landholder participation and collaboration, to identify what helps or hinders the groups in achieving coordinated and effective wild dog management. The study was based on interviews with representatives from 30 groups across Australia.

The study found that as well as reduced losses from wild dog attacks, the operations of many groups have resulted in more strategic and targeted control actions and better communication between neighbours. Wild dog management groups function as important social networks that help farming communities cope with the detrimental effects of wild dogs. The report makes suggestions about the support that groups may need in future to achieve wild dog management—for example the role project or state coordinators play, collaboration with government agencies, regional coordination between groups, communicating success stories, and landholder training and mentoring.

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Participatory wild dog management: Views and practices of Australian wild dog management groups PDF 622.0 MB

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Wild dog management 2010 to 2014: National landholder survey results

Authors: Bill Binks, Robert Kancans and Nyree Stenekes

Wild dog management 2010 to 2014: National landholder survey results presents results and analysis from a national survey of Australian sheep and cattle landholders in late 2014, in areas affected by wild dogs. The results are combined with data from a similar 2010 survey to assess longitudinal changes in wild dog impacts and management activities. Around 1,010 landholders participated in the 2014 survey.

The survey examined landholders' perspectives on wild dog problem severity and distribution, personal and economic impacts and collective management actions. The study also quantifies factors that influence the effectiveness of wild dog management groups and their achievement of outcomes.

Table 1 shows key survey results that characterise landholders’ perspectives on the extent and severity of wild dog problems and the effectiveness of wild dog management in their area.

Table 1 Wild dog problems and management, 2014
 NSWVICQLDSAWANTAustralia
 %%%%%%%
Know of wild dog attacks in area67619146679971
Reported wild dog problem on property54519349719967
Problem severe or extremely severe16183413247526
Problem getting more severe a33254232314735
Undertake management actions ( dogs and/or foxes)86799492909388
Involved in a wild dog management group26202722283225
Rated overall wild dog management actions moderately to very effective51486656405855

Note: Data are percentages of all landholders surveyed within state/territory, in wild dog affected areas. a Landholders rated wild dog problem severity compared with four years earlier. Source: ABARES survey 2014

The national landholder survey as well as the participatory wild dog management study were part of a broader ABARES research package commissioned by Australian Wool Innovation Ltd. (AWI) to explore collaborative action in wild dog management activities.

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Wild dog management 2010 to 2014 - National landholder survey results PDF 894.3 MB

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Last reviewed:
14 Feb 2018