Walk with Wild Alpine Dingos at Mt Baw Baw
You may be familiar with Australia’s dingos, but did you know that there are Alpine Dingos found in Victoria’s highlands? I didn’t, until I had the opportunity to walk with some at Mt Baw Baw in Victoria’s Gippsland region.
Descended from south Asian wolves, dingos can be found across Australia where they play an important role in the natural environment. An apex predator, dingos are believed to play a role in keeping natural systems in balance. They also hold a significant place in the spiritual and cultural practices of some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Alpine dingoes are found in high elevation areas of the Australian Alps, and differ from other dingos as they grow a second thicker coat during late autumn for warmth. Most dingoes have white markings on the chest, feet, and the tip of the tail; some have a blackish muzzle.
The alpine dingos are a threatened species in Victoria, almost wiped out due to wildlife and human conflict. So the opportunity to walk with some at Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort was an opportunity not to be missed.
When visiting Mt Baw Baw, you can engage in a unique Alpine Dingo experience while helping their conservation. The Walk Away Extinction experience allows you to walk and learn about the plight of this misunderstood native animal.
After meeting resident dingos Rowdy and Warragul, I joined them on a walk along with one of their keepers, Amon Bradshaw. While it was more the case of me being taken for a walk, I was intrigued to learn about the plight of dingoes in Australia and their role in our ecosystem as native animals and top-order predators.
Amon Bradshaw explained that it is essential for the public to understand that dingoes are a native species and important to healthy ecosystem function as Australia’s apex predator.
“It’s troubling to see the term wild dog being used to disguise the killing of this native species because generally, people do not realise that this term is used to group dingoes in with roaming feral domestic dogs.”Amon Bradshaw
“It is further proof as to why they need urgent protection,” Amon Bradshaw added.
Mt Baw Baw’s Dingo Resource Centre is dedicated to the education and conservation of these endangered dingos. The proceeds from the walk experience and donations are used to support dingo education programs on the mountain through the summer and winter seasons. Even if you don’t partake in a dingo experience, you can still visit Rowdy, Warragul and the other dingos at the Dingo Resource Centre year-round.