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Jennifer Parkhurst's blog

History and Current Status of Dingoes

It is commonly accepted that the dingo arrived in Australia approximately 4,000 years ago, and that the current population of dingoes across Australia grew from just one pregnant female. However, this was just an hypothesis posited by geneticist Dr Alan Wilton (deceased), and was never meant to be taken as fact. In the last paper he wrote before he died, Dr Wilton suggested that dingoes were more likely to have been introduced some 11,000 – 18,000 years ago [1]. In a recent genetics study, Dr Wilton’s partner, Dr Kylie Cairns found that there were most likely two introductions of dingoes to Australia, not just one .[2] One introduction was to the North-west of the country, and the other was to the South-east.

Co-operative breeding and avoidance of incest in dingoes

I was inspired to write this short article after reading evolutionary sociologist Sheila Newman's multi-species population work on cooperative breeding and incest avoidance in Demography, Territory, Law: The Rules of Animal and Human Population, Countershock Press, 2013, chapters 3 and 4. Newman gives theory plus examples of self-controlled populations in variety of species. My primary observation of dingo breeding habits in their native habitat supports this theory and is supported by it.

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