Animal Diaries Archive
The dingo- exotic or native?
29 June 2007
A common question I am asked when walking our beautiful dingoes is are dingoes native to Australia? For anyone who enjoys a good debate, what a fantastic topic to discuss.
The ultimate origin of the dingo is uncertain. This type of wild dog probably descended from the Indian wolf of south-west Asia between six thousand and ten thousand years ago. The dingo is commonly described as an Australian wild canine. However, it is not restricted to only mainland Australia. Modern dingoes belong to a group of primitive dogs and are found throughout south-east Asia, mostly in small pockets of remaining natural forests.
For many years it was believed that dingoes were bought to Australia by Aboriginal people around fifty thousand years ago. This theory has now largely been discarded. Instead, Asian seafarers introduced dingoes into Indonesia, Borneo, the Philippines, New Guinea and other islands including the continent of Australia some three thousand to five thousand years ago. It is suggested that dingoes came to these lands as either companions, live food sources or, to assist Asian seafarers with hunting.
The dingo spread rapidly across Australia, probably with human assistance, and is thought to have occupied the entire continent, except Tasmania within a short time. During the thousands of years that dingoes have existed in Australia they have ecologically evolved along side 'native' wildlife. Therefore the true question to be asked is how long does it take for an animal to be considered native? Afterall, I personally consider myself to be a true Australian. However, my ancestors are only quite new residents to this part of the world, considering Europeans have been here as little as just over two hundred years. The dingo- exotic or native; the decision is yours.
Until next time – "DINGO'S Rule".