Fraser Island Mammals

The dingoes of Fraser Island are one of the purest strains of dingo surviving in Australia today. Dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) are thought to have been introduced to Australia between 3,000-8,000 years ago.

They are similar to the domestic dog and the two can inter-breed, though dingoes have only one litter of 3-4 pups a year, usually around August/September.

Dingoes feed on bandicoots and other small mammals and are not traditionally scavengers. However, some visitors feed Fraser Island dingoes which encourages them to depend on humans and leads to scavenging and aggression. It is vital for the success and health of the dingo population, as well as personal safety, that these wild dogs are not fed.

Swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) are seen only occasionally on Fraser Island because of the shortage of native grasses for grazing (associated with the simplified food chain of the sandy environment). The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), identified by the long spines covering its back, is found on Fraser Island, though rarely seen.

Migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) can be seen off the coast of Fraser Island between August and October. Once endangered, their numbers have continued to increase since the cessation of whaling. Daily whale watch trips are conducted from Fraser Island to see these magnificent creatures playing in the calm island waters.

Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) can often be seen off Fraser Island either singularly or in small groups. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis) are widespread in the area and the Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) can also be seen.

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