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 > Wildlife Research   
Wildlife Research
Journal Banner
  Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

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

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 34(5)

Diet of a native carnivore, the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), before and after an intense wildfire

James P. Dawson A E, Andrew W. Claridge B, Barbara Triggs C, David J. Paull D

A Department of Environment and Climate Change, Biodiversity Conservation Section, Metropolitan Branch, PO Box 1967, Hurstville, NSW 2220, Australia.
B Department of Environment and Climate Change, Parks and Wildlife Group, Southern Branch, PO Box 2115, Queanbeyan, NSW 2620, Australia.
C ’Dead Finish’, via Genoa, Vic. 3891, Australia.
D School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University College, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email: james.dawson@environment.nsw.gov.au
PDF (221 KB) $25
 Export Citation


The relationship between the diet of the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) and the abundance of its prey was investigated in rain-shadow woodland habitat in southern New South Wales for one year before and two years after a high-intensity, broad-scale wildfire. Scats were variously collected from quoll latrines and live-trapped animals during winter for each of the three years and analysed to determine prey items. Estimates of abundance of key ground-dwelling and arboreal medium-sized mammals were simultaneously obtained using plot-based survey techniques and spotlighting. Over the duration of the study, quoll diet was dominated by medium-sized mammals, particularly brushtail possums (Trichosurus spp.) and lagomorphs (rabbit and hare), followed by small and large-sized mammals. After the fire there was a shift in utilisation of food resources in response to significant changes in prey availability. Monitoring revealed that brushtail possums, lagomorphs and bandicoots were all significantly less abundant in the winter following the fire, and populations of lagomorphs, but not possums, then increased in the second winter after the fire. Quolls adapted to this by taking significantly more lagomorphs in each of the two years after the fire and by taking advantage of a short-term increase in the availability of carrion. The results of this study reaffirm that the spotted-tailed quoll is adaptable in its utilisation of available food, and that fires are not necessarily detrimental to the species and its prey base.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016