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 following.

Action Category

Use non-lethal methods to deter carnivores from attacking humans

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use non-lethal methods to deter carnivores from attacking humans

    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)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust