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

Reproduction of the numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus): observations from a captive breeding program

Vicki Power A C , Cathy Lambert A and Phillip Matson A B

A Perth Zoo, 20 Labouchere Road, South Perth, WA 6151, Australia.

B School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: vicki.power@perthzoo.wa.gov.au

Australian Mammalogy 31(1) 25-30 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM08111
Submitted: 8 August 2008  Accepted: 3 January 2009   Published: 7 April 2009

Abstract

Captive breeding and reintroduction programs are making a significant contribution to the survival of several endangered species. We demonstrated that the numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) can be maintained within a captive breeding program at Perth Zoo, Australia, for the purposes of release. We found that females have one litter per year but can be mated two or three times in the breeding season if they fail to conceive or lose their young. The mean (±s.e.m.) interval between mating in polyoestrous females is 25.2 ± 1.6 days. Males show spermatorrhoea with development of secondary sexual characteristics in the breeding season between November and late February.

Additional keywords: male, mating.


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