Fraser Island Dingo Strategic Research Program

The Fraser Island Dingo Strategic Research Program (PDF, 1.1MB) aims to develop a comprehensive program that is operational and delivers timely, transparent and relevant research findings collaboratively with external and internal stakeholders and the Traditional Custodians the Butchulla people, to inform management and assist decision making.

The approach to developing the program undertaken by the department included:

  • identification of priority research areas based on recommendations from independent scientific review
  • development of a research program that is consistent with the objectives and approaches contained in the strategy and included a priority research table
  • development of a Fraser Island Dingo Research Grant Program to enable allocation of grant funding ($60k) to institutions undertaking dingo research.

Fraser Island Dingo Research Grant Program 2014 - outcomes

  • The grant program was coordinated by the former Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation.
  • Seven applications were received and reviewed by an assessment panel with four successful research projects confirmed and endorsed (as detailed below).
Fraser Island Dingo Research Grant Program—successful projects
Funding Research theme(s) Project details

Dingo Conservation and Ecology

A Dingo Scat DNA-Mark-Recapture Monitoring Program to Calculate Population Size. Dr Gabriel Conroy, University of the Sunshine Coast.

This research will provide an estimate of the current Fraser Island dingo population size. The research will also deliver a framework to monitor trends in population size, using scientifically rigorous methodology. The integration of volunteer input for the collection of scat samples makes for an innovative, efficient, and publicly inclusive solution to source scat samples, while the implementation of a DNA-mark-recapture program represents current best practice.


Human Management and Education

Using Neuroscience and Social Media Listening to develop a better strategy for Human-Dingo interaction.
Prof. Gayle Kerr, Queensland University of Technology.

This research will provide a detailed literature review presenting new insights on neuroscience and social media listening research, and analyse this in relation to Fraser Island dingo management. The aim of the neuroscience review is to present a realistic appraisal of its application to understanding how island visitors think about dingoes to better inform communication strategies.  Social media listening will explore the potential to benchmark sentiment around human-dingo interaction, and the effects of media reporting on social media comment.


1. Dingo Conservation and Ecology
2. Dingo Behaviour Management
3. Human Management and Education

Kickstart: A Collaborative Package of Dingo Research Projects. Mr Ben Allen et. al., The University of Queensland.

The project brings together a large number of existing researchers with experience in management of dingoes and dingo-human interactions on Fraser Island. The project addresses all three Research Priority Areas and six of the research outcomes under the Research Program, via a range of subject areas, including:

  • non-invasive monitoring of the diet and health status of dingoes (Ben Allen - UQ)
  • assessing risk of dingo attacks: characteristics of negative dingo-human encounters (Rob Appleby – Griffith & Angela Wardell-Johnson - USC)
  • dingo utilisation of high-use visitor nodes on Fraser Island (Greg Baxter – UQ)
  • desktop review of the potential application of aversive conditioning techniques for reducing dingo-human conflict (Darryl Jones – Griffith)
  • an on-island assessment of instantaneous aversive measures for minimising negative dingo-human interactions (Darryl Jones – Griffith).


1. Dingo Behaviour Management
2. Human Management and Education

The Iconic Dingo: Valuing their Future on K'Gari-Fraser Island. Dr Clare Archer-Lean, University of the Sunshine Coast.

This research will provide insight into socio-cultural values that underpin planning for strategic approaches to communications regarding dingo and dingo-human interaction. The research aims to interpret existing data and gather new data on the way various stakeholders and interests value and expect to interact with dingoes. The project will make best practice recommendations on how to manage those expectations. Known problematic sites of interactions between people and dingoes will be identified to locate points of conflict in relation to key dingo habitat and visitor management sites.


Evaluation and review

Periodic internal and independent evaluation and review of the strategy was implemented in partnership with other agencies and including Traditional Custodians the Butchulla people. An independent audit (PDF, 617.5KB) of the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy Implementation Plan was undertaken by the Chief Scientist with a full review scheduled  2023–24.

To ensure the strategy delivered real outcomes, the 2014 Grant Program and associated research objectives were included in the Implementation Plan review.