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Wednesday, October 21, 2020


A bunch of Australian researchers put an "oversized inflatable human effigy that [they dub] ‘Fred-a-Scare’ [aaah, I love scientists!]" (P) near some food, outdoors. And the science jokers also gear the place with a speaker playing gunshots noises on command.

Then the brains wait and see which of these two tricks of theirs (if any) is able to scare off captive dingoes from getting to the food (they perform three trials, one a day, with a dozen animals).

Well, the bullets voices don't seem to bother the canids much ("11/12 accessing the food; the same as control" (P) on the first trial).

As per our dear waving-&-shaking Fred-a-Scare, ohoh, it surely does the job.

75% of the dingoes, indeed, run away at least once from the tube-man, and, on the last trial, a fat 58% of them keep being scared by it, leaving the food be.

Sooo, the science Aussies conclude that, even if they need field trials to be sure, "in conjunction with other devices and methods, and at intervals that reduce the risk of habituation, the inflatable effigy could provide a valuable tool for deterring dingoes, and perhaps other species, from particular areas, even where food (or potential prey) is present" (P).

Good news for campgrounds and breeders, then.

Buut, dear reader, this dumb blog, in the following cartoon, show you the true reason why dingoes, which are smart animals, stay the heck away from the inflatable tube-men.


Dingo and the tube-man (edited by @sciencemug)
Dingo & the tube-men (by @sciencemug)
[The tube-men pic by Joshua Coleman, and the field pic by Stephanie Cook are free images (source: Unslpash);  the dingo pic is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license (source: Wikimedia Commons); all pics are adapted by @sciencemug]


- Smith, B.P., Jaques, N.B., Appleby, R.G., Morris, S., and Jordan, N.R. (2020). Automated shepherds: responses of captive dingoes to sound and an inflatable, moving effigy. Pac. Conserv. Biol.

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