Dingo warning as pups learn to hunt on Fraser Island
TOURISTS have again been warned to keep a safe distance from dingoes as new pups learn hunting and survival skills from September to November.
With school holidays approaching, visitors are being urged to avoid interactions and protect the island's wildlife.
If food from humans is available, pups may not learn natural hunting skills, according to the Department of Environment and Science.
Adult dingoes may regard humans as competitors for that food and become aggressive.
Pups learn pack rules through play, showing aggressive behaviour to gain dominance.
Young dingoes will try to dominate people, especially children.
Dingo pups start to emerge from the dens in September each year, and sightings generally increase until around the end of February.
Usually only the dominant pair of each pack will successfully breed and raise pups.
Dens are very carefully guarded and well hidden.
The other pack members help to rear the pups.
The social system within packs means that not all pups can survive to adulthood.
Usually only two to three pups will survive to the next breeding season.
Generally pups usually become independent at three to four months of age, or if in a pack, when the next breeding season begins.
There are currently estimated to be 100-200 dingoes living on the island.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service advises all visitors to never feed dingoes, walk in groups, and camp in fenced areas.
It is illegal to disturb or feed dingo, which includes attracting them with food or food waste. On Fraser Island, an increased maximum fine of $10,676 and an on-the-spot fine of $2135 now applies to those people who break the law.