Dog-dingo Hybrids

Canis familiaris × Canis dingo

Mammalian Hybrids

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EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS

     
canis dingo
A male dingo (Canis dingo), with pups

Dogs and dingoes hybridize extensively throughout most of Australia, so frequently that this interbreeding threatens the very continued existence of the dingo as an entity distinct from the ordinary dog. Dingoes and dogs also co-occur and hybridize in Indonesia, New Guinea and southeast Asia. Dog-dingo hybrids are at least partially fertile in both sexes.

The IUCN (Internet Citations: DIFAM), which rates the dingo as vulnerable, mainly due to this extensive hybridization with the domestic dog, states that,

estimating dingo abundance is difficult because the external phenotypic characters of many hybrids are indistinguishable from pure dingoes. For example, populations of 'wild dogs' in the south-eastern highlands of Australia have been fairly abundant over the past 50 years. However, the proportion of pure dingoes, as based on skull morphometrics, has declined from about 49% in the 1960s (Newsome and Corbett 1985) to about 17% in the 1980s (Jones 1990) and the pure form may now be locally extinct (Corbett 2001). … In Australia, pure dingoes are common in northern, northwestern and central regions, rare in southern and north-eastern regions, and probably extinct in the south-eastern and south-western regions. The density of wild dogs (dingoes and hybrids) varies between 0.03 and 0.3 per km² according to habitat and prey availability (Fleming et al. 2001). … although populations of wild dogs [i.e., dingo, familiaris and their hybrids] remain abundant in Australia and other countries, the proportion of pure dingoes is declining through hybridization with domestic dogs. Estimated populations of pure dingoes and/or hybrid populations can be found in Sillero-Zubiri et al. (2004).

Canis dingo is often treated as conspecific with C. familiaris and/or C. lupus.

A list of dog crosses

The following is a list of dog crosses discussed on this site. Some of these crosses are much better documented than others (as indicated by the reliability arrow). Moreover, some are extremely disparate, and so must be taken with a large grain of salt, but all have been reported at least once.

reliability arrow

Table of contents >>

Bibliography >>

Internet citations >>

Biology Dictionary >>

By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).


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