Wildlife : The Dingo

Post Number: 247

Name: Dingo

Scientific Classification: canis lupis dingo

Alternative Names: bush dog

Location: they are found all over Australia and in parts of Asia.  Their habitat ranges from desert to grasslands and the edge of forests


A curious dingo on the Nullarbor


Fast Facts:

  • Dingoes are related to wolves and might possibly be the oldest breed of dog in the world.
  • An apex preditor of Australia, they are opportunistic hunters and either search for food alone or hunt in packs.
  • Dingoes are seen as a pest by sheep farmers because they sometimes kill sheep.  Their usual diet consists of lizards, birds, kangaroos and rodents.
  • They rarely bark and communicate using long howls.
  • There are three kinds of dingo – island, alpine and desert dingoes.  Their colours can vary from sandy cream to deep red.
  • It is believed that dingoes were introduced to Australia but legally they are considered native because they’ve been here for so long.
  • It’s hard to find a purebred dingo because they tend to interbreed with domestic dogs.  The purest dingoes live on Fraser Island, but they are under threat from overculling.
  • Dingoes have special wrists that allow them to rotate their paws.


Cuteness Rating: If you like dogs, then you’ll think dingoes are pretty cute.

Danger Rating:  They have teeth like a dog and may attack if they feel threatened.


Our Encounter:

Our first encounter with a dingo was on the Nullarbor.  We were heading back to the highway after spending the night at Murrawidginee Caves and the dingo was hanging about by the track.  A really curious fella, he just stopped and looked at us as we stopped and looked at him.


We saw dingoes again at Greenough Wildlife & Bird Park and learnt about the efforts to save the dingo from extinction.


A dingo crossed our path again in the Kimberley on the way up to Mitchell River.  He was hanging about by the road to get a drink from a puddle.


Thirsty dingo


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