Wild dogs on the move as temps drop

WITH winter rolling in, wild dogs could be on the move across the Valley.

According to Dean Chamberlain, a ranger with North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority (NCLHPA) in Grafton, sightings of wild dogs increased at this time of the year.

“Instead of them being less conspicuous, they come out of the high country and head towards the beach where it's a bit warmer,” Mr Chamberlain said.

“So this is generally the time of the year you get more sightings.”

On average Mr Chamberlain said NCLHPA received close to 1000 reported sightings every year, and that was just in the Grafton region.

One of the biggest problems with wild dogs was their ferocious attacks on livestock, pets and wildlife.

Mr Chamberlain said in the past month he'd heard of two domestic dogs being killed, two others attacked and a number of sheep packs hunted by wild dogs.

“That's typical for this time of the year,” he said.

But what was different in recent years, according to Mr Chamberlain, was some wild dogs had been gaining confidence, roaming closer to houses.

“Some reports of late are of dogs being seen in people's backyards,” he said.

Mr Chamberlain also said that around Casino wild dogs had even been seen on verandahs, eating dog food from pets' bowls.

“We haven't had any reports of people being attacked but it's always a possibility,” he said.

There are two types of wild dogs in the region - dingo hybrids and cross-breed mongrels.

Dr Peter Fleming, from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, said there could be a number of reasons for increased sightings including possible growing populations and seasonal exploratory movements to find mates.

The availability of food and water was another factor he said that could lead dogs to travel great distances.

To report wild dogs contact NCLHPA on 6642 3699.

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