Scentpost - April 1996

Newsletter of the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society Limited

590 Arina Road (PO Box 91), Bargo, NSW, 2574 Australia 'phone +61 46 841 156 fax +61 46 841 156

e-mail - merigal@zip.com.au

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Hmm ... , checking inspiration level for this issue on the trusty inspiration meter. (\ . . . . . .) Yep, just as I thought. Dangerously low. Is this what they call burnout?

Well, you can put away those violins. Fortunately plenty have chipped in and helped me write Merigal this time. :-) Thanks everyone. What a big issue (and, in an era when everyone, possibly even the ABC is becoming depressingly commercial, still no ads to pad it out)!

By the way, for those who visit and get the impression I've no heart or soul, I put it pretty much into Merigal so that's where it's all gone.

Well most of you have been pretty good with renewals this year. Um, perhaps that's the problem. Blow me down if we haven't just gone along and spent all the money!

We've been able to get yet further ahead with improving grounds and starting on upgrading visitor facilities, and heaven knows, they need it. I had one rather depressing comment on this the other day. Having told someone about the money spent on the place, he just said, "Yeah, but where's it gone?"

Well, there's been twenty years of maintenance needing to be done, and the current work not only replaces the clapped out former works, but has upgraded them, so they'll last much longer this time.

There's plenty of landscaping to do, and we've had good numbers of plants donated, so work is proceeding well on this front. Trees, plants and mulch will take away the look of the area having been recently mined, and as the labour, etc. is being provided by members, this is something we can continue with while we raise more dough.

Just when we get out plants in, the weather turns dry! Typical. (And when I go and write that, it rains just to make a liar of me )! No, change that. It's dry again.

The grass is dying, the nights are getting cold. I think we're getting the new plants in just in time.

We've been playing canine musical chairs lately. I thought Nardoo might be getting close to being in season in the last couple of weeks and she has been moved in with Snowdrift. Actually, they have since mated several times (Dingoes are exhibitionists and are noisy when they mate). The puppies are destined for Western Plains Zoo where we expect them to continue with any socialisation we begin here.

Jedda moved in with Dusty. Black Magic was moved in with Lasca and Mandawuy briefly, but she and Lasca both came into heat, so 'Magic (who is trying hard to be a Dingo, I think) had to be moved again into the old Wooleston enclosed accommodation, while Lasca has been given contraceptive.

  • Communications and Info. Technology

    My application to do a Master of Science degree at the University of NSW on the genetics of the Dingo, kindly organised by Society Patron, Dr Max Nichols, and under the supervision of Drs Alan Wilton and Bill Sherwin, was successful and I'm currently learning a few techniques. I've included a note from Dr Wilton about the project on the last page of this edition of the Journal. Thanks are due, too, in particular, to Mary Faulder who, has taken on extra kennel work to help out while I'm in the lab. in Sydney.

    It has always been tacit "policy" here to view Dingoes in light of what is known of domestic dogs, which has sometimes drawn criticism. In any case, I've always been interested in comparisons with other breeds. That's why I included comment on comparisons of Dingo and Australian Cattle Dog hips in the last Merigal.

    Sylvia Herbert has since written and comments, "... First, let me be clear, I was not inferring that the Dingo infusion in the ACD produced bad hips. I repeat, my theory is that the Dingo has a normal hip that is somewhat different from that of the domestic dog. A normal, heavy femur neck and normal flat spot somewhat larger than that of the domestic dog ..."

    Well, I dunno, but if I misinterpreted anything, please take the above as a correction. Any comments? In the absence of any enlightened comment or new information, that's the end of the subject for the time being.

    This is slowly getting closer to reality and we are currently looking at two sub programs at present. We need people to work with the Dingoes themselves, helping with their care at the Dingo Sanctuary, and we need people to assist with the guided tours. Training will help ensure our visitors get quality information and our Dingoes get standardised, quality care.

    We hope to get a survey out soon too, so we know a bit more about our membership and what they want to do. This will be entirely voluntary, of course - no one is obliged to answer anything if they don't want to.

    The idea is that people have offered help in the past and, unless we get the information down in structured format, it's very easy to forget who offered what, then people get put out, etc. Yes, you can pick fault with us if you like, but we are trying!

    Thanks for the kind words some of you have had to say about the Journal lately. I usually feel as though I've been sweating blood by the time I've finished. I must point out though that the AGM report is entirely Berenice's work, though, and no attempt by me to bignote myself. Thanks again.

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    Conservation Through Education