Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Interspecies co-use of southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) burrows

Elizabeth Thornett A C , Bertram Ostendorf A B and David A. Taggart A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide (Waite Campus), Davies Building, Paratoo Road, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia.

B Fauna Research Alliance Ltd, PO Box 98, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: elizabeth.thornett@adelaide.edu.au

Australian Mammalogy 39(2) 205-212 https://doi.org/10.1071/AM15052
Submitted: 15 December 2015  Accepted: 2 November 2016   Published: 8 December 2016

Abstract

Burrows can provide refuge for both burrowing and non-burrowing species within harsh environments through protection from climatic extremes, water loss and predation. In Australia, however, despite having a rich diversity of burrowing mammals, little is known about the use of burrows by non-burrowing species. This study aimed to identify the extent of co-use of southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) burrows on Wedge Island off the coast of South Australia. Burrow use was monitored using 34 motion-activated cameras placed outside wombat burrows between March and September 2015. Eleven species were found to use burrows, with six commensal species observed using burrows on numerous occasions. These included two mammal species (black-footed rock-wallaby, Petrogale lateralis pearsoni; brush-tailed bettong, Bettongia penicillata), three reptile species (peninsula dragon, Ctenophorus fionni; southern sand-skink, Liopholis multiscutata; White’s skink, Liopholis whitii), and one avian species (little penguin, Eudyptula minor). The most common species observed using burrows was the black-footed rock-wallaby, which was recorded using burrows 1795 times. Observations of wombats using burrows were made 1674 times. The prevalent use of burrows on Wedge Island by species other than wombats is an observation with potentially important and broad ecological, conservation, and management implications across Australia’s arid and semiarid zones.

Additional keywords: burrow sharing, fossorial, marsupial, refuge, warren, Wedge Island, wildlife management.


References

Armstrong, D., Storr, R., and Owens, H. (1993). Wedge Island. Department of Environment and Land Management, South Australia.

Buffenstein, R. (1984). The importance of microhabitat in thermoregulation and thermal conductance in two namib rodents – a crevice dweller, Aethomys namaquensis, and a burrow dweller, Gerbillurus paeba. Journal of Thermal Biology 9, 235–241.
The importance of microhabitat in thermoregulation and thermal conductance in two namib rodents – a crevice dweller, Aethomys namaquensis, and a burrow dweller, Gerbillurus paeba.CrossRef |

Burbidge, A. A., McKenzie, N. L., Brennan, K. E. C., Woinarski, J. C. Z., Dickman, C. R., Baynes, A., Gordon, G., Menkhorst, P. W., and Robinson, A. C. (2008). Conservation status and biogeography of Australia’s terrestrial mammals. Australian Journal of Zoology 56, 411–422.
Conservation status and biogeography of Australia’s terrestrial mammals.CrossRef |

Copley, P. (1999). Natural histories of Australia’s stick-nest rats, genus Leporillus (Rodentia: Muridae). Wildlife Research 26, 513–539.
Natural histories of Australia’s stick-nest rats, genus Leporillus (Rodentia: Muridae).CrossRef |

Copley, P., Read, V., Robinson, A., and Watts, C. (1990). Preliminary studies of the Nuyts Archipelago bandicoot Isoodon obesulus nauticus on the Franklin Islands, South Australia. In ‘Bandicoots and Bilbies’. (Eds J. H Seebeck, P. R Brown, R. L. Wallis and C. M. Kemper.) pp. 345–356. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)

Dahl, K. (1897). Biological notes on north-Australian mammalia. Zoologist 4, 189–216.

Dann, P. (1994). The abundance, breeding distribution and nest sites of blue penguins in Otago, New Zealand. Notornis 41, 157–166.

Davidson, A. D., Detling, J. K., and Brown, J. H. (2012). Ecological roles and conservation challenges of social, burrowing, herbivorous mammals in the world’s grasslands. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10, 477–486.
Ecological roles and conservation challenges of social, burrowing, herbivorous mammals in the world’s grasslands.CrossRef |

Delroy, L., Earl, J., Radbone, I., Robinson, A., and Hewett, M. (1986). The breeding and re-establishment of the brush-tailed bettong, Bettongia penicillata, in South Australia. Wildlife Research 13, 387–396.
The breeding and re-establishment of the brush-tailed bettong, Bettongia penicillata, in South Australia.CrossRef |

Dickman, C. R. (2003). Positive effects of rodents on biota in arid Australian systems. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research 96, 69–74.

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

Freegard, C. (2007). Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi – nomination of a Western Australian species for listing as threatened, change of status or delisting. Department of Conservation and Land Management: Perth.

Friend, G. R. (1993). Impact of fire on small vertebrates in mallee woodlands and heathlands of temperate Australia: a review. Biological Conservation 65, 99–114.
Impact of fire on small vertebrates in mallee woodlands and heathlands of temperate Australia: a review.CrossRef |

Gálvez Bravo, L., Belliure, J., and Rebollo, S. (2009). European rabbits as ecosystem engineers: warrens increase lizard density and diversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 18, 869–885.
European rabbits as ecosystem engineers: warrens increase lizard density and diversity.CrossRef |

Ganot, Y., Dragila, M. I., and Weisbrod, N. (2012). Impact of thermal convection on air circulation in a mammalian burrow under arid conditions. Journal of Arid Environments 84, 51–62.
Impact of thermal convection on air circulation in a mammalian burrow under arid conditions.CrossRef |

Hall, L. S., and Myers, K. (1978). Variations in the microclimate in rabbit warrens in semi-arid New South Wales. Australian Journal of Ecology 3, 187–194.
Variations in the microclimate in rabbit warrens in semi-arid New South Wales.CrossRef |

Jackson, D., and Milstrey, E. (1989). The fauna of gopher tortoise burrows. In ‘Gopher Tortoise Relocation Symposium Proceedings’. Tallahassee, Florida, USA (Eds J. E. Diemer, D. R. Jackson, J. L. Landers, J. N. Layne and D. A. Wood.) pp. 86–98.

Kinlaw, A. (1999). A review of burrowing by semi-fossorial vertebrates in arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 41, 127–145.
A review of burrowing by semi-fossorial vertebrates in arid environments.CrossRef |

Kiviat, E. (1978). Vertebrate use of muskrat lodges and burrows. Estuaries 1, 196–200.
Vertebrate use of muskrat lodges and burrows.CrossRef |

Kowalczyk, R., Jędrzejewska, B., Zalewski, A., and Jędrzejewski, W. (2008). Facilitative interactions between the Eurasian badger (Meles meles), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and the invasive raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86, 1389–1396.
Facilitative interactions between the Eurasian badger (Meles meles), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and the invasive raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland.CrossRef |

Kowalczyk, N., Reina, R., Preston, T., and Chiaradia, A. (2015). Environmental variability drives shifts in the foraging behaviour and reproductive success of an inshore seabird. Oecologia 178, 967–979.
Environmental variability drives shifts in the foraging behaviour and reproductive success of an inshore seabird.CrossRef |

Lentfer, J. W. (1975). Polar bear denning on drifting sea ice. Journal of Mammalogy 56, 716–718.
Polar bear denning on drifting sea ice.CrossRef |

Macrow, P. (1972). Wedge Island. Department of Fisheries and Fauna Conservation, South Australia.

Marchant, S., and Higgins, P. J. (1990). ‘Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 1A. Ratites to Ducks.’ (Oxford University Press: Melbourne.)

Mawson, P. R. (2004). Translocations and fauna reconstruction sites: Western Shield review – February 2003. Conservation Science Western Australia 5, 108–121.

McCann, M. J. (2011). Burrow characteristics and social elements of captive juvenile bolson tortoises (Gopherus flavomarginatus) within a headstart enclosure in New Mexico. M.Sc. Thesis, New Mexico State University, New Mexico.

McKenzie, N. L., Burbidge, A. A., Baynes, A., Brereton, R. N., Dickman, C. R., Gordon, G., Gibson, L. A., Menkhorst, P. W., Robinson, A. C., Williams, M. R., and Woinarski, J. C. Z. (2007). Analysis of factors implicated in the recent decline of Australia’s mammal fauna. Journal of Biogeography 34, 597–611.
Analysis of factors implicated in the recent decline of Australia’s mammal fauna.CrossRef |

Nevo, E. (1979). Adaptive convergence and divergence of subterranean mammals. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 10, 269–308.
Adaptive convergence and divergence of subterranean mammals.CrossRef |

Ostendorf, B., Boardman, W., and Taggart, D. (2016). Islands as refuges for threatened species: multi-species translocation and evidence of species interactions four decades on. Australian Mammalogy 38, 204–212.
Islands as refuges for threatened species: multi-species translocation and evidence of species interactions four decades on.CrossRef |

Pike, D. A., and Mitchell, J. C. (2013). Burrow-dwelling ecosystem engineers provide thermal refugia throughout the landscape. Animal Conservation 16, 694–703.
Burrow-dwelling ecosystem engineers provide thermal refugia throughout the landscape.CrossRef |

Ramsay, M. A., and Stirling, I. (1988). Reproductive biology and ecology of female polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Journal of Zoology 214, 601–633.
Reproductive biology and ecology of female polar bears (Ursus maritimus).CrossRef |

Read, J. L., Carter, J., Moseby, K. M., and Greenville, A. (2008). Ecological roles of rabbit, bettong and bilby warrens in arid Australia. Journal of Arid Environments 72, 2124–2130.
Ecological roles of rabbit, bettong and bilby warrens in arid Australia.CrossRef |

Reichman, O., and Smith, S. C. (1990). Burrows and burrowing behavior by mammals. Current Mammalogy 2, 197–244.

Robinson, A., Canty, P., Mooney, T., and Rudduck, P. (1996). South Australia’s offshore islands. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Australia & Australian Heritage Commission, Adelaide.

Sander, U., Short, J., and Turner, B. (1997). Social organisation and warren use of the burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur (Macropodoidea: Potoroidae). Wildlife Research 24, 143–157.
Social organisation and warren use of the burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur (Macropodoidea: Potoroidae).CrossRef |

Sheets, R. G., Linder, R. L., and Dahlgren, R. B. (1971). Burrow systems of prairie dogs in South Dakota. Journal of Mammalogy 52, 451–453.
Burrow systems of prairie dogs in South Dakota.CrossRef |

Sherry, D. F. (1990). Storage ecology. Science 250, 1602–1603.
Storage ecology.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3cvktlCqsQ%3D%3D&md5=e26a2be66f3ede5128fed56d41ea4df1CAS |

Shimmin, G. A., Skinner, J., and Baudinette, R. V. (2002). The warren architecture and environment of the southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons). Journal of Zoology 258, 469–477.
The warren architecture and environment of the southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons).CrossRef |

Singleton, E. R. (2008). House Mouse, Mus musculus. In ‘The Mammals of Australia’. 3rd edn. (Eds S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan.) pp. 702–703. (Reed New Holland Publishers: Sydney.)

Stachowicz, J. J. (2001). Mutualism, facilitation, and the structure of ecological communities: positive interactions play a critical, but underappreciated, role in ecological communities by reducing physical or biotic stresses in existing habitats and by creating new habitats on which many species depend. Bioscience 51, 235–246.
Mutualism, facilitation, and the structure of ecological communities: positive interactions play a critical, but underappreciated, role in ecological communities by reducing physical or biotic stresses in existing habitats and by creating new habitats on which many species depend.CrossRef |

Start, T., Burbidge, A. A., and Armstrong, D. (1995). Woylie recovery plan. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Sundell, J., and Ylönen, H. (2004). Behaviour and choice of refuge by voles under predation risk. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 56, 263–269.
Behaviour and choice of refuge by voles under predation risk.CrossRef |

Taggart, D. A., and Temple-Smith, P. D. (2008). Southern hairy-nosed wombat. In ‘The Mammals of Australia’. (Ed. R. Strahan.) pp. 204–206. (Reed Books: Sydney.)

Thies, K. M., Thies, M. L., and Caire, W. (1996). House construction by the southern plains woodrat (Neotoma micropus) in southwestern Oklahoma. The Southwestern Naturalist 41, 116–122.

Tindale, N. B. (1935). Initiation among the Pitjandjara natives of the Mann and Tomkinson Ranges in South Australia. Oceania 6, 199–224.
Initiation among the Pitjandjara natives of the Mann and Tomkinson Ranges in South Australia.CrossRef |

Walde, A. D., Walde, A. M., Delaney, D. K., and Pater, L. L. (2009). Burrows of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) as thermal refugia for horned larks (Eremophila alpestris) in the Mojave Desert. The Southwestern Naturalist 54, 375–381.
Burrows of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) as thermal refugia for horned larks (Eremophila alpestris) in the Mojave Desert.CrossRef |

Ward, S. J. (2014). Structure of a burrow of the northern hopping-mouse, Notomys aquilo, and its surface signs on Groote Eylandt. Australian Mammalogy 36, 55–59.
Structure of a burrow of the northern hopping-mouse, Notomys aquilo, and its surface signs on Groote Eylandt.CrossRef |

White, C. R. (2005). The allometry of burrow geometry. Journal of Zoology 265, 395–403.
The allometry of burrow geometry.CrossRef |

Woolnough, A. P., and Steele, V. R. (2001). The palaeoecology of the Vombatidae: did giant wombats burrow? Mammal Review 31, 33–45.
The palaeoecology of the Vombatidae: did giant wombats burrow?CrossRef |



Export Citation