No tourists could mean ‘golden age’ for dingoes on island
FOR the first time in decades, hoards of tourists won't be making Fraser Island their Easter holiday destination.
And while the region will take an economic hit, it could also be a golden age for the island's purebred dingo population, advocate Cheryl Bryant believes.
The secretary of the Save the Fraser Island Dingoes organisation said for the first time in a long time she would be able to sleep soundly during the school holidays without fear of a negative interaction between dingoes and tourists.
Three shocking incidents involving children saw dingoes euthanised on the island last year.
One of the incidents saw a 14 month old boy dragged from his parents' camper trailer and dragged along the ground by the head.
Thankfully his parents heard his cries and they were able to rescue him.
But, despite increased fines aimed at preventing interactions between people and dingoes on the island, tourists continue to feed and attempt to attract the animals.
Three people were fined for interacting with dingoes on the island last month.
Ms Bryant said that with no tourists currently allowed on the island, it would give the dingoes a chance to go back to natural behaviours and become wary of people again.
"It's a win-win for the wildlife and the environment," she said.
"This is normally one of the busiest tourism periods on the island but this year we won't have to worry about there being any negative encounters.
"It's a positive for us and for the dingoes."
Conservationist Mike West agreed, saying that dingoes would potentially become less habituated during the period when tourists weren't allowed on the island.
"I wouldn't think any of the locals would be interacting or feeding them," he said.
"No one will be supplying them with food or dropping it.
"The dingoes will have to fend for themselves.
"If they fend for themselves and don't interact with people, there will be no problems."