Conjecture about 'dingoes'
THEY'RE Australia's largest predatory land mammal, and they have reportedly been seen in the area.
Residents have taken to social media to warn each other of increased dingo sightings, particularly around parts of Cannonvale.
A Whitsunday Regional Council spokesperson said the 'dingoes' were more likely wild dogs than actual dingoes.
"The dogs are a cross between dingoes and domestic breeds," the spokesperson said.
"The Whitsunday Regional Council provides a 1080 baiting service to eligible registered properties and, depending on the location, council's pest and vector control officer uses a combination of baiting, trapping, shooting, guardian dogs and exclusion fencing to minimise wild dog impacts."
Environmental consultant and James Cook University PhD researcher Damian Morrant, said there weren't enough studies to confirm if dingoes lured their prey into their own packs under false pretences, before then turning on the animal.
"That's the widely held belief, but there's not enough research to hold that down as true," Dr Morrant said.
He said the animals were opportunistic hunters, and not often seen, and from about six months old pups could be quite independent.
"From about six months old, they can hold their own," he said.
"Basically they'll prey on a combination of what's common, what's easily catchable and what provides a good return for their efforts; nothing too small or too hard to catch."
WRC said people, particularly in semi-urban areas, should provide adequate enclosures for their animals, a requirement under local laws.