There has been no shortage of publicity surrounding the potentially dire consequences of feeding dingoes on Queensland’s Fraser Island, but it appears the message still isn’t getting through.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) says that, so far in 2022, 20 fines have been handed out to tourists who either fed dingoes or failed to secure their food.
In the whole of 2021, 26 fines were issued on K’gari to people who interacted with dingoes, deliberately or inadvertently fed them or failed to secure food properly.
Principal ranger Mark Cody told the Cairns Post that two fines had been issued for interacting with the animals, known by the Butchulla people as wongari, and 18 had been issued for failing to secure food properly.
“This shows that rangers take a zero-tolerance approach to all offences that may impact wongari,” Mr Cody said. “Residents and visitors to the island also do not tolerate people feeding or interacting with wongari, and rangers routinely receive photos and videos from people who have witnessed offences.
Mr Cody said the organisation also received information from members of the public who have seen alleged wongari offences uploaded to social media.
“People who expect their social media contacts to like that selfie with a wongari need to understand that those contacts might like your post, but they’ll also contact rangers,” he told the Cairns Post. “There are eyes and ears everywhere, on and off the island, and people who take risks and break the law can expect to receive a fine.”
The QPWS says that visitors don’t need to feed a wongari simply because it enters their area because there is plenty of food for them on the island.
People who break the law relating to dingoes on Fraser Island can be fined a maximum of $11,028, and can face an on-the-spot fine of $2,205.