Canis lupus dingo
facts & figures
Did you know
- Where domestic dogs have been bred to produce 2-3 litters of puppies per year, Dingoes can only produce 1 litter per year.
- Dingos are descendant from Asiatic Wolves, which were introduced to Australia approximately 5000 years ago.
why are they endangered?
- Hybridising with feral dogs, polluting the pure bloodline
- Poisoning, trapping and shooting by farmers
The Australian Dingo is believed to have been introduced to Australia from Asia between 1000-5000 years ago. Dingoes stand at up to 70cm tall, weighing 12-24kg, with red, white or black fur. They have a slim build and erect ears, with a long, narrow snout and bushy tail. In comparison to domestic dogs of similar size, Dingoes have larger canines. In winter Dingoes develop a thick winter fur coat, which they shed during spring and summer.
Dingoes can be found mainland Australia-wide in most habitats, but they prefer woodlands and grasslands that are adjacent to forests. With the severe increase in dingo-domestic dog hybrids, true pure-bred dingoes are difficult to find.
Dingoes are an opportunistic predator, and will feed on a variety of mammals, including wallabies, kangaroos, rabbits and possums, as well as reptiles and birds.
Dingoes live in small packs of 3-12 members, with an alpha male and an alpha female. Communication is made through scent marking in faeces, and howling.
Dingoes do not bark as is the case with domestic dogs. The alpha male and female will usually be the only breeding pair in the pack, with other subordinate members assisting in the rearing of pups. Gestation is 9 weeks, with an average litter size of 4-6 pups. Pups are born in a den where they will remain until large and strong enough to travel outside. They are weaned at 4 months of age and are usually independent between 6-12 months of age.