Date of this Version
The traditional method of dingo control on sheep properties in Western Australia relied on labor-intensive trapping and baiting. A cost/price squeeze in the rangeland sheep-grazing areas around 1970 forced a revision of these practices. Research was conducted on dingo biology, habitat preference and use, movements, social organization and damage to livestock. The data demonstrated the territorial nature of dingoes, that they usually occur in groups of 2 to 15, that long movements are rare, and that they quickly learn to harass and kill sheep. Aerial baiting trials using factory-manufactured baits and baits prepared from fresh meat demonstrated that an adequate level of control could be achieved in a buffer zone adjoining sheep-grazing areas to minimize the movement of dingoes onto sheep areas. Baiting success was higher for young and lone dingoes with the use of individual meat baits, and probably with a high-bait density and a low-prey population. The research findings have been largely incorporated in a refined strategy for dingo control based on the buffer zone concept at reduced cost for control. If the cost and results of the research are assumed to have led to the benefit of lower control costs over the next 20 years, a benefit:cost ratio of about 2.5:1 is indicated.