Roaming behaviour of dogs in four remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, Australia: preliminary investigations

Roaming behaviour of dogs in four remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, Australia: preliminary investigations Journal Article

Australian Veterinary Journal

  • Author(s): Molloy, S, Burleigh, A, Dürr, S, Ward, MP
  • Published: 2017
  • Volume: 95

Abstract: Objective: To estimate the home range (HR) and investigate the potential predictors for roaming of 58 dogs in four Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Design: Prospective study. Procedure: Global positioning system (GPS) collars were attached to the dogs for 1–4 days, recording location fixes every 1–3 min. Utilisation distributions (UDs) and extended (95% isopleth) and core (50% isopleth) HRs of dogs were determined. Potential predictors of roaming were assessed. Results: Estimated core (median, 0.27 ha) and extended (median, 3.1 ha) HRs differed significantly (P = 0.0225 and 0.0345, respectively) between the four communities; dogs in the coastal community travelled significantly (P < 0.0001) more per day than dogs in the three inland communities studied. Significant associations were found between extended HR size and sex (P = 0.0050) and sex + neuter (P = 0.0218), and between core HR size and sex (P = 0.0010), neuter status (P = 0.0255) and sex + neuter (P = 0.0025). Entire males roamed more than neutered females. The core HR of dogs with poor/fair body condition scores (BCSs) was larger than dogs with ideal/obese BCSs (P = 0.0394). Neutered male dogs also travelled more per day than entire female dogs (P = 0.0475). Conclusions: Roaming information can be used to inform the management of dogs in remote communities and to design disease control programs. Widespread data collection across the Northern Territory should be undertaken to further investigate the associations found in this study, considering that data were collected during relatively short periods of time in one season.

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Suggested Citation
Molloy, S, Burleigh, A, Dürr, S, Ward, MP, 2017, Roaming behaviour of dogs in four remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, Australia: preliminary investigations, Volume:95, Journal Article, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14252.

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