Australian Dingo at Healesville sanctuary
Dingo at Healesville Sanctuary
DINGOS (Canis lupus dingo) are a type of dog. They are thought to have originated in Asia, having evolved from a subspecies of the Grey wolf.
For many years it was believed that Dingos were brought to Australia by Aboriginal people, but this theory has now largely been discarded. Instead, it seems more likely that Asian seafarers transported Dingos from mainland Asia, through South-East Asia to Australia and other parts of the Pacific, during their voyages over the last 5000 years. Fossil evidence suggests that Dingos arrived in Australia around 3500 – 4000 years ago, and quickly spread to all parts of the Australian mainland and offshore islands, with the exception of Tasmania.
The main threat to their existence as a species is cross-breeding with feral dogs. By the early 1990s, about a third of all wild dingoes in the south-east of the continent were dingo/domestic dog crosses, and although the process of interbreeding is less advanced in more remote areas, the extinction of the subspecies in the wild is considered to be a serious risk.