Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society
REVIEW

Hybridisation between the dingo, Canis lupus dingo, and the domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, in Victoria: a critical review

Evan Jones

8 Harrods Court, Strathdale, Vic. 3550, Australia. Email: evan.jones6@bigpond.com

Australian Mammalogy 31(1) 1-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM08102
Submitted: 29 February 2008  Accepted: 25 September 2008   Published: 11 March 2009

Abstract

This paper reviews two separate population models proposed for a group of wild canids inhabiting the Victorian eastern highlands and re-analyses some of the data used. The first model was based upon two studies that used eight skull measurements in a canonical variate equation. Those studies classified population samples into three separate groups consisting of dingoes, feral domestic dogs and their hybrids. The second model, based upon a later study, classified a separate and additional population sample on the basis of both coat colour and physical appearance, but also cross-referenced the classifications to their canonical scores. That study rejected the model of three separate canid groups and the ability of the canonical variate equation to differentiate ‘pure’ dingoes from other canids. Instead the population was classified as a single group of dingo-like wild canids with an increased range in the variability of their physical characteristics compared to the original dingo population. After a re-evaluation of the data from the latter study and careful examination of the limitations of the canonical variate equation, the evidence presented here supports the population model of a single group of wild canids. Theoretical considerations associated with these two population models are discussed, as are the limitations of the canonical variate equation to classify the Victorian eastern highlands and other Australian wild canid populations.

Additional keywords: canid taxonomy, Canidae, canonical variate analysis, cross breeds, hybrids, Victorian eastern highlands, wild canids.


References

Anon. (1974). Report on the East Gippsland Study Area. Land Conservation Council of Victoria. Government Printer, Melbourne.

Anon. (2007). Final Recommendation on Nomination Number 789, Canis lupus dingo. Scientific Advisory Committee, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

Catling P. C. Corbett L. K. Newsome A. E. 1992 Reproduction in captive and wild dingoes (Canis familiaris dingo). Wildlife Research 19 195 205 doi:10.1071/WR9920195

Corbett L. (1995 a). Characteristics and identity. In ‘The Dingo in Australia and Asia’. Ch. 3. pp. 29–48. (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney.)

Corbett L. (1995 b). Social dynamics. In ‘The Dingo in Australia and Asia’. Ch. 6. pp. 80–101. (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney.)

Corbett L. (1995 c). The future of expatriate dingoes. In ‘The Dingo in Australia and Asia’. Ch. 10. pp. 163–178. (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney.)

Corbett L. (2001). The conservation status of the dingo, Canis lupus dingo in Australia, with particular reference to New South Wales: threats to pure dingoes and potential solutions. In ‘A Symposium on the Dingo’. (Eds C. R. Dickman and D. Lunney.) pp. 10–19. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Daniels M. J. Corbett L. 2003 Redefining introgressed protected mammals: when is a wildcat a wild cat and a dingo a wild dog? Wildlife Research 30 213 218 doi:10.1071/WR02045

Dickman C. R. , and Lunney D. (2001). Last howl of the dingo: the legislative, ecological and practical issues arising from the kill-or-conserve dilemma. In ‘A Symposium on the Dingo’. (Eds C. R. Dickman and D. Lunney.) pp. 95–107. Proceedings Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Elledge A. E. Leung L. K.-P. Allen L. R. Firestone K. Wilton A. N. 2006 Assessing the taxonomic status of dingoes Canis familiaris dingo for conservation. Mammal Review 36 142 156 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.2006.00086.x

Jones E. 1990 Physical characteristics and taxonomic status of wild canids Canis familiaris, from the eastern highlands of Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 17 69 81 doi:10.1071/WR9900069

Jones E. Stevens P. L. 1988 Reproduction in wild canids Canis familiaris, from the eastern highlands of Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 15 385 394 doi:10.1071/WR9880385

Newsome A. E. Corbett L. K. 1982 The identity of the dingo. II. Hybridisation with domestic dogs in captivity and in the wild. Australian Journal of Zoology 30 365 374 doi:10.1071/ZO9820365

Newsome A. E. Corbett L. K. 1985 The identity of the dingo. III. The incidence of dingoes, dogs and hybrids and their coat colours in remote and settled regions of Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 33 363 375 doi:10.1071/ZO9850363

Newsome A. E. Corbett L. K. Carpenter S. M. 1980 The identity of the dingo. I. Morphological discriminants of dingo and dog skulls. Australian Journal of Zoology 28 615 625 doi:10.1071/ZO9800615

Savolainen P. Leitner T. Wilton A. N. Matisoo-Smith E. Lundeberg J. A. 2004 A detailed picture of the origin of the Australian dingo, obtained from the study of mitochondrial DNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 12387 12390 doi:10.1073/pnas.0401814101

Scott J. P. 1968 Evolution and domestication of the dog. Evolutionary Biology 2 243 275

Wayne R. K. 1993 Molecular evolution of the dog family. Trends in Genetics 9 218 224
doi:10.1016/0168-9525(93)90122-X

Wilton A. N. (2001). DNA methods of assessing dingo purity. In ‘A Symposium on the Dingo’. (Eds C. R. Dickman and D. Lunney.) pp. 49–56. Proceedings Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Woodall P. F. Pavlov P. Twyford K. L. 1996 Dingoes in Queensland, Australia: skull dimensions and the identity of wild canids. Wildlife Research 23 581 587 doi:10.1071/WR9960581



Export Citation Cited By (11)