Animals depend on us
In a world so largely influenced by humans, the welfare of many other species we share our planet with is too often overlooked. As a devoted animal lover, I enjoy giving a portion of my time and skills to help causes aimed at assisting animals in need.
Rescues in search of a new home
If you're reading this, it's most likely you have your own pet, or have a love for animals. Sadly every year there are many thousands of pets in search of a loving home like yours. Organisations like Animal Rescue Queensland are just one of the many wonderful groups that have made this possible for thousands of dogs. I'm proud to assist ARQ in their efforts and leverage my photographic abilities and equipment to capture their story and spirit, aiming to foster more interest and connection with potential new parents. I'm also involved in other fundraising events they put on through the year.
If you find yourself looking for a new or additional best mate, I encourage you to consider adopting.
Nature and the dingo
My love of animals extends to the wonderful and unique wildlife we have throughout Australia. One of the most important animals in relation to biodiversity and sustainable ecosystems is our wild canid, the dingo. Sadly a misunderstood and often maligned creature, its plight is something I feel very strongly about and use my time and photography to help advocate its importance.
I'm involved with Simon from Durong Dingo Sanctuary, north-west of Kingaroy, QLD. He runs Queensland’s only dingo sanctuary and has 18 purebred dingoes. His sanctuary aims to keep dingo lineage pure while also providing a location for education and research. We also visit locations and events to promote the cause.
You can read more about the dingo below, and also find related dingo events on the news page.
The dingo’s plight
Australia's native canid, the dingo (canis dingo), is our only real mainland apex predator, and as such holds great importance to our biodiversity across this vast land. Sadly, it is an animal that suffers relentless persecution across all Australian states and territories. Although the dingo is recognised as a native species, in a twisted irony, it also holds the classification of 'pest', alongside the cane toad. The dingo is 'managed' throughout most of Australia largely by inhumane methods, driven by profit, dated and questionable mindsets. Our governments and land holders use 1080 bait with ferocity across vast regions in an attempt to control nature, while science and studies have been proving this is only exacerbating the problem. 1080 is a poison that indiscriminately kills anything living; it is banned in all civilised nations except Australia and New Zealand. A dingo (or whatever animal ingests the poison) may suffer for up to 24 hours in agony as it slowly dies. Dingoes are also shot and trapped on a large scale.
Dingo persecution occurs largely due to livestock farming. The potential threat of a native apex predator to farmers’ profits outweighs the concerns of the natural ecosystem. Studies and trials have now proven that cattle properties with stable dingo packs can thrive, with productivity able to improve in many cases. While sheep and dingoes do not co-exist quite so well, there are farmers now employing predator-friendly farming techniques, such as exclusion fencing and guardian animals. These farmers are discovering better returns than the traditional culling methods used to control dingo numbers.
These issues highlight the problem with current management practices. Dingoes are a family/pack-structured species. Only the dominant pair in a territory can breed, which naturally limits dingo numbers. When persecuted through baiting, shooting or trapping, dingo packs can become broken, leaving dominant and juvenile dingoes to breed freely, and even mix with feral domestic dogs. By leaving dingoes alone to perform their native role in the ecosystem, the long-term situation will become better for all involved, both in nature and in farmers’ livestock production. Introduced species such as cats and foxes also will be naturally controlled, with studies showing dingoes limit both their numbers and behaviour in (the few) areas where dingoes avoid heavy persecution. In these areas, because of fewer predators, smaller native species fare better.
I hope in time the Australian government and property owners realise these facts and act sooner rather than later. Many places in the world already have enacted changes in policy and procedures to protect their apex predators, like the US example of the wolf.