Although dingo populations remain relatively abundant in Australia and other countries, the proportion of pure individuals is rapidly declining due to hybridisation with domestic dogs. Further more, some dingo preservation societies, dingo ‘farms’, and legislation allowing legal ownership of dingoes by members of the public, effectively increase the amount of hybridisation (1). In several Asian countries, dingoes are also sold in human food markets (1), with their meat providing a major source of protein for indigenous peoples, and their canine teeth used as decoration in Indonesia and the Pacific islands (2).
Another source of mortality for the dingo arises from persecution. In pastoral and agricultural areas, dingoes may be subject to poisoning, trapping or shooting (2). Since 1836 until recently, there was even a bounty system in place throughout mainland Australia, and in most of south-eastern Australia, this persecution, combined with habitat loss, has led to the elimination of the dingo (2).
In the absence of the dingo, other introduced pest animals such as the introduced red fox, feral cat and European rabbit can proliferate, with significant, often detrimental, impacts on the ecosystem, such as the loss of the rufous hare-wallaby, which is preyed upon by the red fox. As a top predator, the dingo may have become essential to the biodiversity of the Australian landscape, but now faces possible extinction (6).