321 pages, 8 plates with 15 colour photos; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables
The Dingo Debate explores the intriguing and relatively unknown story of Australia's most controversial animal – the dingo. Throughout its existence, the dingo has been shaped by its interactions with human societies. With this as a central theme, The Dingo Debate traces the story of the dingo from its beginnings as a semi-domesticated wild dog in South-east Asia, to its current status as a wild Australian native animal under threat of extinction. It describes how dingoes made their way to Australia, their subsequent relationship with Indigenous Australians, their successful adaption to the Australian landscape and their constant battle against the agricultural industry. During these events, the dingo has demonstrated an unparalleled intelligence and adaptable nature seen in few species. The Dingo Debate concludes with a discussion of what the future of the dingo in Australia might look like, what we can learn from our past relationship with dingoes and how this can help to allow a peaceful co-existence.
The Dingo Debate reveals the real dingo beneath the popular stereotypes, providing an account of the dingo's behaviour, ecology, impacts and management according to scientific and scholarly evidence rather than hearsay. The Dingo Debate will appeal to anyone with an interest in Australian natural history, wild canids, and the relationship between humans and carnivores.
1 Characteristics of the Australian dingo (Canis dingo Meyer, 1793)
2 Biology and behaviour of the dingo
3 The origin and ancestry of the dingo
4 The role of dingoes in Indigenous Australian lifestyle, culture, and spirituality
5 Dingo-human conflict: Attacks on livestock
6 Dingo-human conflict: Attacks on humans
7 Chasing the yellow dog's tail: The past, present, and future of dingo research
8 An ecological view of the dingo
9 Dingo intelligence: A dingo’s brain is sharper than its teeth
10 The personality, behaviour and suitability of dingoes as companion animals
11 The role of private sanctuaries in dingo conservation and the management of dingoes in captivity
12 Forging a new future for the Australian dingo
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Dr Bradley Smith is a Research Fellow in Human and Animal Psychology. He has spent the last decade conducting experimental and observational studies of dingoes in both captive and wild settings, and investigating the dingo’s controversial past. He currently serves as director of the Australian Dingo Foundation and scientific advisor for one of Australia’s largest dingo sanctuaries.
With contributions by Rob Appleby, Chris Johnson, Damian Morrant, Peter Savolainen and Lyn Watson.