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High rates of cannibalism and food waste consumption by dingoes living at a remote mining operation in the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia
journal contributionposted on 03.06.2020, 00:00 by Bradley Smith, DS Morrant, A-L Vague, TS Doherty
Mining operations in remote Australia represent a unique opportunity to examine the impact of supplementary food and water provision on local wildlife. Here, we present a dietary analysis of dingoes living at a mine site in the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia. A total of 270 faeces (scats) were collected from across the mine footprint on two occasions three months apart. The most frequently consumed food resource was anthropogenic (rubbish), which was found in 218 of 270 faeces (80.7% of scats and 65.3% of scat volume). Also of note was a high proportion of dingo remains, which was found in 51 of 270 faeces (18.9% of scats and 10.4% of scat volume), suggesting the occurrence of cannibalism. These findings highlight the potential influence of human-modified areas and associated resource availability on the diet of dingoes, and have implications for the environmental management of areas surrounding mining operations. © 2019 Australian Mammal Society.