Although close associations are sometimes formed to cooperatively hunt large prey, young adults primarily live a solitary existence during the non-mating season, at which time they come together to mate and rear pmammals
In Australia, dingoes breed from March to April; in Southeast Asia they mate from August to September The dingo is an opportunistic hunter and will hunt small prey alone, such as rabbits, rodents, birds and lizards Dingo range
Although commonly described as an Australian species, the dingo is not restricted to Australia and nor did it originate there, but was rather transported there from mainland Asia between 3,500 and 4,000 years ago Dingo habitat
Found in all habitats, including tropical wetlands and forests, hot arid deserts and forested snow-clad peaks in Australia, and alpine moorlands above 3,800 metres altitude in Papua New Guinea Dingo status
Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List Dingo threats
Although dingo populations remain relatively abundant in Australia and other countries, the proportion of pure individuals is rapidly declining due to hybridisation with domestic dogs. Further more, some dingo preservation societies, dingo ‘farms’, and legislation allowing legal ownership of dingoes by members of the public, effectively increase the amount of hybridisation Another source of mortality for the dingo arises from persecution. In pastoral and agricultural areas, dingoes may be subject to poisoning, trapping or shooting In the absence of the dingo, other introduced pest animals such as the introduced red fox, feral cat and European rabbit can proliferate, with significant, often detrimental, impacts on the ecosystem, such as the loss of the rufous hare-wallaby, which is preyed mammals
Within Australia, the dingo is legally protected in Federal National Parks, World Heritage areas, Aboriginal reserves, and throughout the Australian Capital Territory. However, throughout much of its remaining range the dog has been ‘declared’ a pest, and landholders are obliged to manage populations. No state conservation measures have been taken other than that the Australian Federal Government has recently published ‘best practice’ guidelines to manage and conserve dingoes No conservation measures or protected areas exist for wild dingoes in Asia, which is an issue that needs to be addressed. Research into methods of identifying pure dingoes is ongoing, and the prevention of hybridisation continues to be critical to the survival of the subspecies
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Find out more
For further information on the dingo see:
IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Gromammals
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be mammals
- Carnassial teeth
- The carnassial teeth of flesh-eating animals are used to cut or shear flesh and bone, and include the last premolar on either side of the mammals
IUCN Red List (February, 2008)
Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffman, M. and Macdonald, D.W. (2004) Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dog: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN Publications Services Unit, Cambridge. Available at:
Jackson, P. and Sheean-Stone, O. (1990) Wild Dogs and their Relatives. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
Jackson, S. (2003) Australian Mammals: Biology and Captive Management. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
Glen, A.S., Dickman, C.R., Soulé, M.E. and Mackey, B.G. (2007) Evaluating the role of the dingo as a trophic regulator in Australian ecosystems. Austral Ecology, 32: 492 - 5001.