CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Australian Mammalogy   
Australian Mammalogy
  The Journal of the Australian Mammal Society
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 33(2)

Status of warru (Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of South Australia. 2. Population dynamics

Matthew J. Ward A B D , Laura Ruykys B , Jason van Weenen A , Siobhan de Little B , Anika Dent C , Amber Clarke A and Thalie Partridge C

A Department of Environment and Natural Resources, GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.
B School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
C Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Management, PMB 227, Umuwa via Alice Springs, NT 0872, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: matthew.ward@sa.gov.au

Australian Mammalogy 33(2) 142-151 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM10055
Submitted: 16 December 2010  Accepted: 21 May 2011   Published: 12 September 2011

PDF (395 KB) $25
 Export Citation

The population dynamics of warru (Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race) were studied in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia, in order to inform management and better understand the race’s conservation ecology. Mark–recapture between 2005 and 2010 at the three largest known remaining colonies, followed by POPAN modelling, indicated that population sizes were 23 at New Well and 24 at Alalka in the Musgrave Ranges, and 14 at Kalka in the Tomkinson Ranges. Taking into account recent survey results, the study confirmed that warru are ‘Endangered’ in South Australia. However, there is potential for the recovery of the race, with high average reproductive rates (in the Musgrave Ranges >90% of reproductively active females had pouch young), even sex ratios and relatively high adult survivorship (>75%). Juvenile survival (51%), however, was significantly lower than that of adults. Given that red fox (Vulpes vulpes) numbers are low at these sites, this is possibly due to predation by feral cats (Felis catus), although this needs further investigation. Juvenile survival was also positively correlated with winter rainfall, possibly indicating that access to water is important during the drier winter months. In light of these observations, it is proposed that management of remaining warru colonies focus on cat control and consider providing access to free water during winter, as well as addressing landscape-scale threats such as wildfire and the spread of exotic plants.

Additional keywords: black-footed rock-wallaby, capture–mark–recapture, demography, marsupial, Macropodidae.


Algar, D., and Burrows, N. D. (2004). Feral cat control research: Western Shield review, February 2003. Conservation Science Western Australia 5, 131–163.

Algar, D., Angus, G. J., Williams, M. R., and Mellican, A. E. (2007). Influence of bait type, weather and prey abundance on bait uptake by feral cats (Felis catus) on Peron Peninsula, Western Australia. Conservation Science Western Australia 6, 109–149.

Buckland, S. T., Burnham, K. P., and Augustin, N. H. (1997). Model selection: an integral part of inference. Biometrics 53, 603–618.
CrossRef |

Burbidge, A. A., Johnson, K. A., Fuller, P. J., and Southgate, R. I. (1988). Aboriginal knowledge of the mammals of the central deserts of Australia. Wildlife Research 15, 9–39.
CrossRef |

Bureau of Meteorology (2010). Climate statistics for Australian locations. Commonwealth of Australia Bureau of Meteorology. Available at: www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml [accessed 8 November 2010].

Burnham, K. P. (1993). A theory for combined analysis of ring recovery and recapture data. In ‘Marked Individuals in the Study of Bird Population’. (Eds J. D. Lebreton and P. M. North.) pp. 199–213. (Birkhäuser-Verlag: Basel.)

Burnham, K. P., and Andersen, A. N. (2002). ‘Model Selection and Multimodel Inference. A Practical Information – Theoretic Approach.’ (Springer: New York.)

Caughley, G., and Gunn, A. (1996). ‘Conservation Biology in Theory and Practice.’ (Blackwell Science: Cambridge.)

Caughley, G., Bayliss, P., and Giles, J. (1984). Trends in kangaroo numbers in western New South Wales and their relation to rainfall. Australian Wildlife Research 11, 415–422.
CrossRef |

Clancy, T. F., and Close, R. L. (1997). The Queensland rock-wallabies – an overview of their conservation status, threats and management. Australian Mammalogy 19, 169–174.

Clancy, T. F., and Croft, D. B. (1992). Population dynamics of the common wallaroo (Macropus robustus erubescens) in arid New South Wales. Wildlife Research 19, 1–16.
CrossRef |

Copley, P. B., Kemper, C. M., and Medlin, G. C. (1989). The mammals of north-western South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 23, 75–88.

Delaney, R. (1997). Population dynamics of the allied rock-wallaby, Petrogale assimilis: implications for conservation. Australian Mammalogy 19, 199–207.

Delaney, R., and De’ath, G. (1990). Age estimation and growth rates of captive and wild pouch young of Petrogale assimilis. Wildlife Research 17, 491–499.
CrossRef |

Delean, S. (2007). Longitudinal population demography of the allied rock-wallaby, Petrogale assimilis. Ph.D. Thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.

Eldridge, M. D. B. (1997). Rock-wallaby conservation: essential data and management priorities. Proceedings of the 1994 National Rock-wallaby Symposium Workshops. Australian Mammalogy 19, 325–330.

Eldridge, M. D. B., King, J. M., Loupis, A. K., Spencer, P. B. S., Taylor, A. C., Pope, L. C., and Hall, G. P. (1999). Unprecedented low levels of genetic variation and inbreeding depression in an island population of the black-footed rock-wallaby. Conservation Biology 13, 531–541.
CrossRef |

Finlayson, H. H. (1961). On central Australian mammals. IV. The distribution and status of central Australian species. Records of the South Australian Museum 14, 141–191.

Gaillard, J.-M., Festa-Bianchet, M., and Yoccoz, N. G. (1998). Population dynamics of large herbivores: variable recruitment with constant adult survival. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 13, 58–63.
CrossRef | CAS |

Gibson, D. F. (2000). Distribution and conservation status of the black-footed rock-wallaby, Petrogale lateralis (MacDonnell Ranges race), in the Northern Territory. Australian Mammalogy 21, 213–236.

Higginbottom, K. (1991). Reproductive success and reproductive tactics in female red-necked wallabies. Ph.D. Thesis, University of New England, Armidale.

IUCN (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge.

Jones, M., Taggart, D., and Temple-Smith, P. (2004). Age determination and growth in wild Petrogale lateralis pearsoni and captive Petrogale lateralis ‘MacDonnell Ranges race’. Australian Journal of Zoology 52, 447–461.
CrossRef |

Kendrick, P., McGilvray, A., and Rummery, C. (2010). Black-flanked rock-wallaby recovery in Kuru-Kanti (the Calvert Range), Pilbara, WA (abstract). In ‘The 56th Scientific Meeting of the Australian Mammal Society and Rock-wallaby Symposium. Canberra, 5–9 July 2010’. (Eds I. R. Wallis and M. D. B. Eldridge.) p. 70. (Australian Mammal Society: Canberra, ACT.)

Kinnear, J. E., Onus, M. L., and Bromilow, R. N. (1988). Fox control and rock-wallaby population dynamics. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 435–450.
CrossRef |

Kinnear, J. E., Onus, M. L., and Sumner, N. R. (1998). Fox control and rock-wallaby dynamics – II. An update. Wildlife Research 25, 81–88.
CrossRef |

Kinnear, J. E., Krebs, C. J., Pentland, C., Orell, P., Holme, C., and Karvinen, R. (2010). Predator-baiting experiments for the conservation of rock-wallabies in Western Australia: a 25-year review with recent advances. Wildlife Research 37, 57–67.
CrossRef |

Krebs, C. J. (2009). Population dynamics of large and small mammals: Graeme Caughley’s grand vision. Wildlife Research 36, 1–7.
CrossRef |

Lethbridge, M. (2004). Population modelling the yellow-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus) in space and time. Ph.D. Thesis, University of South Australia.

Lethbridge, M. R., and Alexander, P. J. (2008). Comparing population growth rates using weighted bootstrapping: guiding the conservation management of Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus (yellow-footed rock-wallaby). Biological Conservation 141, 1185–1195.
CrossRef |

Moore, A. C. (1971). Some aspects of the geology of the Gosse Pile ultramafic intrusion, central Australia. Journal of the Geological Society of Australia (1953–1983) 18, 69–80.
| CAS |

Pearson, D. J. (1992). Past and present distribution and abundance of the black-footed rock-wallaby in the Warburton region of Western Australia. Wildlife Research 19, 605–622.
CrossRef |

Pearson, D. J., and Kinnear, J. E. (1997). A review of the distribution, status and conservation of rock-wallabies in Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy 19, 137–152.

Piggott, M., Banks, S., Stone, N., Banffy, C., and Taylor, A. (2006a). Estimating population size of endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) colonies using faecal DNA. Molecular Ecology 15, 81–91.
CrossRef | CAS |

Piggott, M., Banks, S., and Taylor, A. (2006b). Population structure of brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) colonies inferred from analysis of faecal DNA. Molecular Ecology 15, 93–105.
CrossRef | CAS |

Possingham, H., Jarman, P., and Kearns, A. (2003). Independent review of Western Shield: report of the review panel. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Read, J., and Ward, M. J. (2010). Warru recovery plan: recovery of Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race in South Australia, 2010–2020. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Adelaide.

Read, J. L., and Ward, M. J. (2011). Bringing back warru: initiation and implementation of the South Australian Warru Recovery Plan. Australian Mammalogy 33, 214–220.
CrossRef |

Robinson, A. C., Lim, L., Canty, P. D., Jenkins, R. B., and MacDonald, C. A. (1994). Studies of the yellow-footed rock-wallaby, Petrogale xanthopus Gray (Marsupialia: Macropodidae). Population studies at Middle Gorge, South Australia. Wildlife Research 21, 473–481.
CrossRef |

Robinson, A. C., Copley, P. B., Canty, P. D., Baker, L. M., and Nesbitt, B. J. (Eds) (2003). ‘A Biological Survey of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia, 1991–2001.’ (Department for Environment and Heritage: Adelaide.)

Ruykys, L. (2011). Ecology of warru (black-footed rock-wallaby, Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Adelaide.

Schwarz, C. J., and Arnason, A. N. (1996). A general methodology for the analysis of capture–recapture experiments in open populations. Biometrics 52, 860–873.
CrossRef |

Sharp, A. (2002). The ecology and conservation biology of the yellow-footed rock-wallaby. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Sharp, A., and McCallum, H. (2010). The decline of a large yellow-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) colony following a pulse of resource abundance. Australian Mammalogy 32, 99–107.
CrossRef |

Sharp, A., Norton, M., and Marks, A. (2006). Demography of a yellow-footed rock-wallaby Petrogale xanthopus colony in the threatened New South Wales sub-population. Australian Mammalogy 28, 215–227.
CrossRef |

Spencer, P. B. S. (1991). Evidence of predation by a feral cat, Felis catus (Carnivora: Felidae) on an isolated rock-wallaby colony in tropical Queensland. Australian Mammalogy 14, 143–144.

Taggart, D., Schultz, D., and Temple-Smith, P. (1997). Development and application of assisted reproductive technologies in marsupials: their value for conservation of rock-wallabies. Australian Mammalogy 19, 183–190.

Vogelnest, L., and Woods, R. (Eds) (2008). ‘Medicine of Australian Mammals.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Ward, M. J., Urban, R., Read, J. L., Dent, A., Partridge, T., Clarke, A., and van Weenen, J. (2011). Status of warru (Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of South Australia. 1. Distribution and decline. Australian Mammalogy 33, 135–141.
CrossRef |

White, G. C., and Burnham, K. P. (1999). Program MARK: survival estimation from populations of marked animals. Bird Study 46, 120–139.
CrossRef |

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2015