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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Preliminary observations of dingo responses to assumed aversive stimuli

Published source details

Appleby R., Smith B., Mackie J., Bernede L. & Jones D. (2017) Preliminary observations of dingo responses to assumed aversive stimuli. Pacific Conservation Biology, 23, 295-301


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use non-lethal methods to deter carnivores from attacking humans Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2015 at a beach in Queensland, Australia (Appleby et al. 2017) found that a motorised water pistol caused dingoes Canis dingo to display aversive responses (change direction or speed or move ≥5 m away) in most cases but sounding a horn did not. The water pistol produced more aversive responses (32 from 43 trials involving seven animals) than did blowing a whistle, a treatment assumed not to deter dingoes (one aversive response from 23 trials involving nine dingoes). The air horn produced no aversive responses in 13 trials involving six animals. Trials were conducted along a beach, in daylight, during 1–15 December 2015. With dingoes ≤5 m from an observer, a whistle was blown on the first trial, involving nine animals. For subsequent trials for these animals, the whistle was followed by sounding an air horn or firing a mechanical water pistol. Some trials for individual dingoes were repeated after short gaps (2–11 trials during 1–55 minutes).

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)