Warning Visitors about the Potential Dangers of Dingoes on Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

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Situations where potentially dangerous animals are habituated to park visitors occur around the world. Interpretation may reduce the risk to visitors in these areas by forewarning them of the dangers of these animals. When interpretation is used in these situations, the message must be disseminated, understood, and acted on by all visitors if it is to be successful. “Be Dingo-Smart” is an interpretive program that warns visitors about the dangers of dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) on Fraser Island (Australia). Our survey of campers to the Island found that different demographic groups of visitors paid attention to, read, or deliberately ignored the different types of media used in the program. When the media was read it increased people's knowledge about dingoes on Fraser Island. This finding suggests that interpreters need to use a range of media targeted to specific groups to overcome the differences in motivations and preferences of visitors when attempting to disseminate essential messages. Additionally when a range of media and messages are used, interpretation needs to be part of an integrated visitor management strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberhttps://doi.org/10.1177/109258720200700205
Pages (from-to)51-63
JournalJournal of Interpretation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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