Very few pure dingoes remain in the wild, but a new program plans to save the dwindling dingo population through artificial insemination.
The Norwood Animal Conservation Group (a Monash University-based research group) and the Dingo Care Network have launched the Dingo Species Recovery Program in Melbourne, to save it from extinction.
Poison baiting and trapping programs, and wild dogs crossing with dingoes, threaten wild dingoes with extinction within the next 20 years.
Dr Ernest Healy from Dingo Care Network said government sponsored poisoning programs are indiscriminate and can kill everything from foxes or quolls through to the small remaining pockets of pure dingoes.
Victorian Farmers Federation president Simon Ramsay admitted that pure-bred dingoes were not as aggressive or as great a threat to livestock as those which were bred with domestic dogs gone wild.
It is hoped 50 to 100 pure dingoes will be bred over the next five to 10 years, with the longer term aim of being able to release them into the wild if there is a change in government and public attitude towards dingoes. But it is more likely that the species will become extinct in the Australian wild and that pure bred dingoes would only live in protected sanctuaries.
The group is still seeking $10,000 to begin the artificial insemination phase of the program, which they hope to start in the next six to 12 months. Donations are welcome.