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 Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
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 us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 38(5)

Fertility partially drives the relative success of two introduced bovines (Bubalus bubalis and Bos javanicus) in the Australian tropics

Clive R. McMahon A E , Barry W. Brook B , David M. J. S. Bowman C , Grant J. Williamson C and Corey J. A. Bradshaw B D

A Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia.
B The Environment Institute and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
C Department of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 05, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia.
D South Australian Research and Development Institute, PO Box 120, Henley Beach, SA 5022, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email: clive.mcmahon@cdu.edu.au

Wildlife Research 38(5) 386-395 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR10174
Submitted: 23 September 2010  Accepted: 7 July 2011   Published: 12 October 2011


 
PDF (600 KB) $25
 Supplementary Material
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

Context: Some large herbivores introduced to Australia have achieved population densities so high as to cause considerable ecological damage. Intriguingly, others have been relatively less successful and have correspondingly perturbed their new environments less. An excellent example is two similar-sized bovine species that established feral populations in the Northern Territory of Australia in the mid-19th century. Asian swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) rapidly colonised the tropical savannas, causing ecological degradation, especially on freshwater swamps. In contrast, banteng (Bos javanicus) are restricted to their point of introduction and have caused relatively negligible ecological damage. Understanding the reasons of this differential success is of theoretical and applied interest and contributes to managing large herbivore populations for ex situ conservation and feral-animal control.

Aims: To compare the population structure of buffalo and banteng on the basis of shot samples, so as to construct life tables for four contemporary (low-density) buffalo populations, and collated data from previous work from three historical (high-density) buffalo populations and one banteng population (the only extant ex situ population in existence). Further, to provide a validation of age estimation with and without informed priors in a Bayesian model comparing horn length and ages estimated from tooth cementum annuli. Finally, to interpret our results in the context of relative invasion potential of the two bovid species.

Key Results: For both species, survival of juveniles was the most important demographic component influencing deterministic population growth. However, buffalo have the demographic capacity to recover swiftly after control because of high survival and fertility rates across a range of population densities. Fertility of buffalo was historically greater than that of banteng, and buffalo fertility increased as their populations were reduced.

Conclusions: These findings highlight how subtle differences in demographic rates and feeding ecology can influence the success (high population growth and range expansion) of large herbivores, knowledge which is increasingly important for managing invasive species effectively.

Implications: We show that that individual life-history traits and demographic performance, especially fertility, play an important role in determining the spread of invasive bovids in a novel environment.

Additional keywords: age, banteng, fertility, herbivores, invasive species, life table, survival, swamp buffalo, wildlife management.


References

Albrecht, G. A., McMahon, C. R., Bowman, D. M. J. S., and Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2009). Convergence of culture, ecology and ethics: management of feral swamp buffalo in northern Australia. Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics 22, 361–378.
CrossRef |

Andrews, L. G. (1972). Major noninfectious causes of reproductive wastage in beef-cattle in Northern Territory. Australian Veterinary Journal 48, 41–46.
CrossRef | CAS |

Bayliss, P., and Yeomans, K. M. (1989). Distribution and abundance of feral livestock in the Top End of the Northern Territory (1985–86), and their relation to population control. Australian Wildlife Research 16, 651–676.
CrossRef |

Beever, E. A., and Brussard, P. F. (2000). Charismatic megafauna or exotic pest? Interactions between popular perceptions of feral horses (Equus caballus) and their management and research. In ‘Proceedings of the Nineteenth Vertebrate Pest Conference’. (Eds T. P. Salmon and A. C. Crabb.) pp. 413–418. (Vertebrate Pest Conference: Davis, CA.)

Boulton, W. J., and Freeland, W. J. (1991). Models for the control of feral water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) using constant levels of offtake and effort. Wildlife Research 18, 63–73.
CrossRef |

Bowman, D. M. J. S., and Panton, W. J. (1994). Fire and cyclone damage to woody vegetation on the north coast of the Northern Territory, Australia. The Australian Geographer 25, 32–35.
CrossRef |

Bowman, D., Prior, L. D., and Williamson, G. (2010a). The roles of statistical inference and historical sources in understanding landscape change: the case of feral buffalo in the freshwater floodplains of Kakadu National Park. Journal of Biogeography 37, 196–199.

Bowman, D. M. J. S., Murphy, B., and McMahon, C. R. (2010b). Using carbon isotope analysis of the diet of two introduced Australian megaherbivores to understand Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. Journal of Biogeography 37, 499–505.
CrossRef |

Bradshaw, C. J. A., and Brook, B. W. (2007). Ecological-economic models of sustainable harvest for an endangered but exotic megaherbivore in northern Australia. Natural Resource Modeling 20, 129–156.
CrossRef |

Bradshaw, C. J. A., Field, I. C., Bowman, D. M. J. S., Haynes, C., and Brook, B. W. (2007a). Current and future threats from non-indigenous animal species in northern Australia: a spotlight on World Heritage Area Kakadu National Park. Wildlife Research 34, 419–436.
CrossRef |

Bradshaw, C. J. A., Isagi, Y., Kaneko, S., Brook, B. W., Bowman, D. M. J. S., and Frankham, R. (2007b). Low genetic diversity in the bottlenecked population of endangered non-native banteng in northern Australia. Molecular Ecology 16, 2998–3008.
CrossRef |

Bradshaw, C. J. A., Giam, X. L., Tan, H. T. W., Brook, B. W., and Sodhi, N. S. (2008). Threat or invasive status in legumes is related to opposite extremes of the same ecological and life-history attributes. Journal of Ecology 96, 869–883.
CrossRef |

Brook, B. W., Bowman, D. M. J. S., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Campbell, B. M., and Whitehead, P. J. (2006). Managing an endangered Asian bovid in an Australian national park: the role and limitations of ecological economic models in decision making. Environmental Management 38, 463–469.
CrossRef |

Burnham, K. P., and Anderson, D. R. (2002). ‘Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information-Theoretic Approach.’ 2nd edn. (Springer-Verlag: New York.)

Caswell, H. (2001). ‘Matrix Population Models: Construction, Analysis, and Interpretation.’ 2nd edn. (Sinauer Associates, Inc.: Sunderland, MA.)

Caswell, H., and Takada, T. (2004). Elasticity analysis of density-dependent matrix population models: the invasion exponent and its substitutes. Theoretical Population Biology 65, 401–411.
CrossRef |

Caughley, G. (1966). Mortality patterns in mammals. Ecology 47, 906–918.
CrossRef |

Caughley, G. (1970). Eruption of ungulate populations, with emphasis on himalayan thar in New Zealand. Ecology 51, 53–72.
CrossRef |

Caughley, G. (1977). ‘Analysis of Vertebrate Populations.’ (John Wiley and Sons: London.)

Caughley, G., and Sinclair, A. R. E. (1994). ‘Wildlife Ecology and Management.’ (Blackwell Science: Oxford, UK.)

Choquenot, D. (1990). Rate of increase for populations of feral donkeys in northern Australia. Journal of Mammalogy 71, 151–155.
CrossRef |

Choquenot, D. (1993). Growth, body condition and demography of wild banteng (Bos javanicus) on Cobourg Peninsula, northern Australia. Journal of Zoology 231, 533–542.
CrossRef |

Clavero, M., and García-Berthou, E. (2005). Invasive species are a leading cause of animal extinctions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 20, 110–110.
CrossRef |

Collier, N., Austin, B., Bradshaw, C. J. A., and McMahon, C. R. (2011). Turning pests into profits: introduced buffalo provide multiple benefits to indigenous people of northern Australia. Human Ecology 39, 155–164.
CrossRef |

Coulson, T., Guinness, F., Pemberton, J., and Clutton-Brock, T. (2004). The demographic consequences of releasing a population of red deer from culling. Ecology 85, 411–422.
CrossRef |

Croci, S., Le Quilliec, P., and Clergeau, P. (2007). Geographical range as predictor of spatial expansion of invading birds. Biodiversity and Conservation 16, 511–524.
CrossRef |

Cruz, F., Carrion, V., Campbell, K. J., Lavoie, C., and Donlan, C. J. (2009). Bio-economics of large-scale eradication of feral goats from Santiago Island, Galápagos. The Journal of Wildlife Management 73, 191–200.
CrossRef |

deKoninck, V. (2005). Joint management of banteng (Bos javanicus) in a contested cultural landscape: observations and implications. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 10, 123–135.
CrossRef |

Eberhardt, L. L. (2002). A paradigm for population analysis of long-lived vertebrates. Ecology 83, 2841–2854.
CrossRef |

Fancy, S. G. (1980). Preparation of mammalian teeth for age determination by cementum layers: a review. Wildlife Society Bulletin 8, 242–248.

Fischer, H. (1966). Secondary sex ratio in water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Zeitschrift fur Tierzuchtung und Zuchtungsbiologie 82, 361–363.
CrossRef |

Fisher, H., and Bodihipakasha, P. (1992). Reproduction in swamp buffaloes. In ‘Buffalo production’. (Eds N. M. Tulloh and J. H. G. Holmes.) pp. 153–170. (Elsevier: Amsterdam.)

Ford, B. D. (1978). Liveweight changes of swamp buffaloes and cattle in northern Australia. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh.

Ford, B. D. (1982). Productivity and management of the water buffalo in Australia. Northern Territory Department of Primary Production, Division of Agriculture and Stock, No. 61. Northern Territory Government. Darwin.

Forsyth, D. M., and Caley, P. (2006). Testing the irruptive paradigm of large-herbivore dynamics. Ecology 87, 297–303.
CrossRef |

Forsyth, D. M., and Duncan, R. P. (2001). Propagule size and the relative success of exotic ungulate and bird introductions to New Zealand. American Naturalist 157, 583–595.
CrossRef | CAS |

Forsyth, D. M., Duncan, R. P., Bomford, M., and Moore, G. J. (2004). Climatic suitability, life-history traits, introduction effort, and the establishment and spread of introduced mammals in Australia. Conservation Biology 18, 557–569.
CrossRef |

Freeland, W. J., and Boulton, W. J. (1990). Feral water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) in the major floodplains of the Top End, Northern Territory, Australia: population growth and the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign. Australian Wildlife Research 17, 411–420.
CrossRef |

Gaillard, J.-M., Festa-Bianchet, M., Yoccoz, N. G., Loison, A., and Toigo, C. (2000). Temporal variation in fitness components and population dynamics of large herbivores. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31, 367–393.
CrossRef |

Gogan, P. J. P., Barrett, R. H., Shook, W. W., and Kucera, T. E. (2001). Control of ungulate numbers in a protected area. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29, 1075–1088.

Gorman, J. T., Saalfeld, K., and Griffiths, A. D. (2007). Population estimate of Asian water buffalo and wild cattle in the Arafura Swamp, central Arnhem Land. Northern Territory Naturalist 19, 1–8.

Grange, S., Duncan, P., and Gaillard, J. M. (2009). Poor horse traders: large mammals trade survival for reproduction during the process of feralization. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 276, 1911–1919.
CrossRef |

Heppell, S. S., Caswell, H., and Crowder, L. B. (2000). Life histories and elasticity patterns: perturbation analysis for species with minimal demographic data. Ecology 81, 654–665.
CrossRef |

Hood, G. M. (2010). ‘PopTools Version 3.2.3.’ Available at http://www.poptools.org [accessed 25 November 2010].

James, C. (2003). Response of vertebrates to fenceline contrasts in grazing intensity in semi-arid woodlands of eastern Australia. Austral Ecology 28, 137–151.
CrossRef |

Jeschke, J. M., and Strayer, D. L. (2006). Determinants of vertebrate invasion success in Europe and North America. Global Change Biology 12, 1608–1619.
CrossRef |

Johnson, C. N., Isaac, J. L., and Fisher, D. O. (2007). Rarity of a top predator triggers continent-wide collapse of mammal prey: dingoes and marsupials in Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 274, 341–346.
CrossRef |

Kanarek, A. R., and Webb, C. T. (2010). Allee effects, adaptive evolution, and invasion success. Evolutionary Applications 3, 122–135.
CrossRef |

Koenig, J., Griffiths, A. D., Godjuwa, C., and Camion, O. (2003). Aerial survey of vertebrates in the Mann river district, central Arnhem Land. Northern Territory Naturalist 17, 7–19.

Lehmann, C. E. R., Prior, L. D., and Bowman, D. (2009). Fire controls population structure in four dominant tree species in a tropical savanna. Oecologia 161, 505–515.
CrossRef |

Letts, G. A. (1962). Early livestock introductions to the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory. Australian Veterinary Journal 38, 282–287.
CrossRef |

Letts, G. A. (1964). Feral animals in the Northern Territory. Australian Veterinary Journal 40, 84–88.
CrossRef |

Lockwood, J. L., Cassey, P., and Blackburn, T. (2005). The role of propagule pressure in explaining species invasions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 20, 223–228.
CrossRef |

Low, W. A., and McTaggart Cowan, I. (1963). Age determination of deer by annular structure of dental cementum. The Journal of Wildlife Management 27, 466–471.
CrossRef |

Lunney, D. (2001). Causes of the extinction of native mammals of the Western Division of New South Wales: an ecological interpretation of the nineteenth century historical record. The Rangeland Journal 23, 44–70.
CrossRef |

McCool, C. (1992). Buffalo and Bali cattle – exploiting their reproductive-behavior and physiology. Tropical Animal Health and Production 24, 165–172.
CrossRef | CAS |

McCool, C. J., Townshead, M. P., Carney, J. V., Wolfe, S. G., Olm, T., Simpson, M., Jayawardhana, G. A., and Zuill, D. (1990). Age, horn length, horn rings and dental eruption of swamp buffalo in Australia. Buffalo Journal 2, 145–152.

McMahon, C. R., Hindell, M. A., Burton, H. R., and Bester, M. N. (2005). Comparison of southern elephant seal populations, and observations of a population on a demographic knife-edge. Marine Ecology Progress Series 288, 273–283.
CrossRef |

McMahon, C. R., Brook, B. W., Collier, N., and Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2010). A spatially explicit spreadsheet modelling approach for optimizing the efficiency of reducing invasive animal density. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1, 53–68.
CrossRef |

Moran, J. B. (1986). Live-weight changes in swamp and river buffalo. World Animal Review 58, 42–50.

Moran, J. B. (1992). Growth and development of buffaloes In ‘Buffalo production’. (Eds N. M. Tulloh and J. H. G. Holmes.) pp. 191–221. (Elsevier: Amsterdam.)

Owen-Smith, N., and Mills, M. G. L. (2006). Demographic determination of the shape of density dependence for three African ungulate populations. Ecological Monographs 76, 93–109.
CrossRef |

Petty, A. M., Werner, P. A., Lehmann, C. E. R., Riley, J. E., Banfai, D. S., and Elliott, L. P. (2007). Savanna responses to feral buffalo in Kakadu National Park, Australia. Ecological Monographs 77, 441–463.
CrossRef |

Purdie, J. L. (1982). A study of the haematology of the swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) in the Northern Territory. Certificate in Medical Laboratory Techniques. Thesis, Darwin Community College, Darwin.

Radunz, B. (2006). Surveillance and risk management during the latter stages of eradication: experiences from Australia. Veterinary Microbiology 112, 283–290.
CrossRef |

Reddiex, B., and Forsyth, D. M. (2006). Control of pest mammals for biodiversity protection in Australia. II. Reliability of knowledge. Wildlife Research 33, 711–717.
CrossRef |

Reddiex, B., Forsyth, D. M., McDonald-Madden, E., Einoder, L. D., Griffioen, P. A., Chick, R. R., and Robley, A. J. (2006). Control of pest mammals for biodiversity protection in Australia. I. Patterns of control and monitoring. Wildlife Research 33, 691–709.
CrossRef |

Ricciardi, A. (2007). Are modern biological invasions an unprecedented form of global change? Conservation Biology 21, 329–336.
CrossRef |

Richards, M. W., Spitzer, J. C., and Warner, M. B. (1986). Effect of varying levels of postpartum nutrition and body condition at calving on subsequent reproductive performance in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 62, 300–306.

Salo, P., Korpimaki, E., Banks, P. B., Nordstrom, M., and Dickman, C. R. (2007). Alien predators are more dangerous than native predators to prey populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 274, 1237–1243.
CrossRef |

Sinclair, A. R. E., Fryxell, J. M., and Caughley, G. (2006). ‘Wildlife ecology, conservation and management.’ 2nd edn. (Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, UK.)

Skogland, T. (1986). Density-dependent food limitation and maximal production in wild reindeer herds. The Journal of Wildlife Management 50, 314–319.
CrossRef |

Tait, C. J., Daniels, C. B., and Hill, R. S. (2005). Changes in species assemblages within the Adelaide Metropolitan Area, Australia, 1836–2002. Ecological Applications 15, 346–359.
CrossRef |

Tulloch, D. G. (1969). Home range of feral swamp buffalo, Bubalus bubalis Lydekker. Australian Journal of Zoology 17, 143–152.
CrossRef |

Tulloch, D. G. (1970). Seasonal movements and distribution of the sexes in the water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, in the Northern Territory. Australian Journal of Zoology 18, 399–414.
CrossRef |

Tulloch, D. G. (1978). Water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, in Australia: grouping and home range. Australian Wildlife Research 5, 327–354.

Tulloch, D. G., and Grassia, A. (1981). A study of reproduction in water buffalo in the Northern Territory of Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 8, 335–348.
CrossRef |

Warburton, B., and Norton, B. G. (2009). Towards a knowledge-based ethic for lethal control of nuisance wildlife. The Journal of Wildlife Management 73, 158–164.
CrossRef |

Woinarski, J. C. Z., Palmer, C., Fisher, A., Southgate, R., Masters, P., and Brennan, K. (1999). Distributional patterning of mammals on the Wessel and English Company islands, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 47, 87–111.
CrossRef |

Woinarski, J. C. Z., Armstrong, M., Brennan, K., Fisher, A., Griffiths, A. D., Hill, B., Milne, D. J., Palmer, C., Ward, S., Watson, M., Winderlich, S., and Young, S. (2010). Monitoring indicates rapid and severe decline of native small mammals in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Wildlife Research 37, 116–126.
CrossRef |

Zhang, H. (2009). Diagnosing Australia–Asian monsoon onset/retreat using large-scale wind and moisture indices. Climate Dynamics 35, 601–618.
CrossRef |


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014