Introduced Mammals

Dingo Cat

Mammals have been assigned ‘feral’ or ‘introduced’ status here on the basis of either their dubious Australian heritage and/or their relative time of arrival here.

Most people can comfortably accommodate those mammals that arrived with, or slightly after, the first European settlers, about 220 years ago.

Fewer, however are prepared to apply the same measuring rods to the Dingo that originated in Thailand (where it is still common) and which was brought to northern Australia around 5,000 years ago by seafaring Asians. Not by Aboriginal peoples. Compared with the multi-million-year histories of Australian native fauna, whether you arrived 5,000 years ago or within the last 200 years (with Europeans) hardly makes a difference. The bitter pill for champions of the ‘Native Dog’ to swallow is the concept that the Dingo is most accurately described as a feral Asian canid that represents the first foreign predator to be successfully introduced by humans into Australia. It is now an entrenched part of the Australian fauna.

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