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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Ultrasonic deterrent device used on dingoes

Published source details

Edgar J., Appleby R. & Jones D. (2007) Efficacy of an ultrasonic device as a deterrent to dingoes (Canis lupus dingo): a preliminary investigation. Journal of Ethology, 25

Summary

Dingoes are important to both conservation and tourism in Australia.  However, the need to preserve this species while protecting human safety became an issue in 2001, after two dingoes killed a child at a campground in Queensland, Australia.  Non-lethal strategies are now being examined that limit negative human-dingo interactions in areas of high human use.  This study was the first to test ultrasonic deterrents on non-domestic canids.

 

This study tested the efficacy of commercially available Weitech Yard and Garden Protector (YGP) ultrasonic units on deterring 4 captive dingoes (2 males and 2 females).  A total of 60 successful trials were conducted over 4 consecutive days.

Two YGP units were individually mounted to separate stands and placed back to back in the dingo communal exercise area.  During each trial, one unit was randomly assigned ‘OFF’ and the other ‘ON’.  A teaspoon (approx. 5g) of tuna was placed in front of each unit as a food lure, and a dingo was randomly released from its individual pen into the communal area.  Researchers recorded which lure(s) each dingo consumed and any novel behaviors.  Trials ended after both lures were consumed or 10 minutes has passed.  The individual was then returned to its pen, followed by a 10-minute rest period between each trial.

 

This study found that the ultrasonic device was ineffective in deterring dingoes from eating food lures.  Out of the 60 successful trials, both food lures were consumed in 57 cases (95%).  During the other 3 trials, a single lure was consumed, twice from the OFF side and once from the ON side.  Overall, there is no evidence showing that ultrasonic devices are an effective non-lethal deterrent for dingoes.

 

Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, this can be viewed at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/7079r455741786jp/