DINGO WARNING: Island rangers out in force on holidays
TOURISTS travelling to Fraser Island for the school holidays have been reminded to be dingo-safe or risk copping a fine.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said spring was a wonderful time on K'gari and most campsites were already at capacity.
"It is so important that all visitors to the island stay dingo-safe especially if camping with children," Minister Enoch said.
"September is a time where young dingoes are learning survival skills, which means they may display behaviour which can be mistaken as playing, as they test their place in their pack."
Earlier this year on the spot fines for intentionally feeding or disturbing dingoes increased to a minimum $2,135 per offence, and $10,676 maximum.
"People need to understand that these beautiful dingoes are wild animals, they are not starving, and a habituated dingo becomes a risk to visitors and to themselves," Ms Enoch said.
"Our Government is committed to boosting visitor safety while supporting a sustainable and healthy dingo population.
"Deliberate, illegal behaviour around dingoes will not be tolerated and rangers will be out on the ground checking visitors are following the rules."
Minister Enoch said that throughout the holidays, rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation will be providing dingo safe messaging and checking compliance.
"We want visitors to enjoy themselves and if anyone breaks the law by deliberately feeding or interacting with dingoes, they can expect a fine," she said.
Butchulla Ranger, Mr Conway Burns said visitors must keep a clean and tidy campsite and stick together as a group if they are exploring the island's beauty.
"At this time of the year, females will be teaching pups to hunt and the packs could be defensive, so it is important to keep your distance from the wongari (dingoes)," Mr Conway said.
"Enjoy the island, respect the wongari because it is their territory, do not feed them and take your photos from a distance.
"The wongari are spiritually connected to the Butchulla people and unfortunately, if people don't listen to our safety messages, it is the wongari that suffers."
The Queensland Government is also implementing other measures to improve safety on K'gari, including a new fencing camping area, with assessments being carried out to determine a possible site at Eurong, and a new Butchulla community education ranger.
The Queensland Government is reviewing the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy Implementation Plan in partnership with Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation.
Visitors to K'gari are reminded to be dingo safe at all times:
- Always stay close (within arm's reach) of children and young teenagers
- Always walk in groups
- Camp in fenced areas where possible
- Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction
- Never feed dingoes
- Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat)
- Never store food or food containers in tents, and
- Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.