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Australian Mammalogy is an important source of information on all aspects of the biology of Australasian mammals – both native and introduced. More

Editor: Ross Goldingay


blank image Australian Mammalogy
Volume 36 Number 2 2014

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Variability in the seasonality of breeding by the common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula: its possible causes and management implications 
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Phil Cowan
pp. 131-136

Across its native range in Australia and its introduced range in New Zealand breeding of the common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, varies significantly. Photoperiod and food quantity/quality appear to influence the variation in breeding seasonality, but density, body weight/condition and, possibly, genetics also have effects. Understanding variation in the seasonality of breeding and its causes will help management of possum populations as pests and for their conservation.


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Molecular characterisation of the signaling molecules TCRζ and ZAP-70 in the marsupial Macropus eugenii (tammar wallaby) 
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S. Flenady and L. J. Young
pp. 137-145

Marsupials are an old mammalian lineage and the state of their immune competence has been debated for some time. TCRζ and ZAP-70 are important immune molecules and the significant sequence differences found in the tammar wallaby TCRζ gene when compared with the human counterpart provided an insight into the development and proficiency of the marsupial immune system.

    | Supplementary Material (1.9 MB)

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Signs of wildlife activity and Eucalyptus wandoo condition 
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T. L. Moore , M. D. Craig , L. E. Valentine , G. E. St J. Hardy and P. A. Fleming
pp. 146-153

Soil is disturbed by terrestrial vertebrates when searching for food. Changes in soil disturbance can influence ecosystem processes such as soil turnover, potentially altering habitat quality and tree condition. Forest and woodland declines in condition are occurring worldwide. This study linked Eucalyptus wandoo decline in the south-west of Western Australia to changes in soil disturbance.


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Records of vagrant fur seals (family Otariidae) in South Australia 
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Peter D. Shaughnessy , Catherine M. Kemper , David Stemmer and Jane McKenzie
pp. 154-168

Subantarctic fur seals are vagrants to South Australia and occur regularly in winter and spring when they attract attention because of their handsome appearance. We document 86 records between 1982 and 2012, at approximately three per year. Most are likely to be from Amsterdam Island in the South Indian Ocean, 5200 km west of South Australia, where the species is abundant.


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Genetic monitoring reveals significant population structure in eastern quolls: implications for the conservation of a threatened carnivorous marsupial 
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Maria J. Cardoso , Nick Mooney , Mark D. B. Eldridge , Karen B. Firestone and William B. Sherwin
pp. 169-177

The eastern quoll is extinct on the Australian mainland and is now declining in Tasmania. This study assessed the distribution of genetic diversity within Tasmanian eastern quolls, finding significant regional differentiation and that populations in central Tasmania were the most diverse. The central Tasmanian populations are therefore a high priority for management and an ideal source of animals for conservation initiatives.


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Use of highway underpasses by bandicoots over a 7-year period that encompassed road widening 
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Brendan D. Taylor and Ross L. Goldingay
pp. 178-183

Understanding how species respond to road expansion is crucial to guiding efforts to reduce barrier effects. We investigated use of underpasses by bandicoots along a section of the Pacific Highway in northern New South Wales before, during and after road expansion (i.e. from two to four lanes). Frequency of use was similar just prior to and during expansion but declined after expansion, perhaps reflecting a shift from regular foraging to infrequent dispersal movements through the underpasses.


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Surfacing behaviour and ecology of the marsupial mole (Notoryctes typhlops) at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park 
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Kerrie Bennison , Jim Clayton , Robert Godfree , Chris Pavey and Melinda Wilson
pp. 184-188

The rare marsupial mole is one of Australia’s most elusive mammals. The team at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park used Indigenous traditional skills to monitor the species in different sites. As a result we now understand more about the species’ response to fire and rainfall, as well as its distribution and abundance across the park. This information will help to manage and conserve the species in the future.


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The habitat and diet of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Queensland 
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Alistair Melzer , Romane Cristescu , William Ellis , Sean FitzGibbon and Gabriella Manno
pp. 189-199

The paper presents the most comprehensive assessment of koala diet undertaken across Queensland. A diverse diet is revealed, incorporating soil, buds, bark and foliage from 34 tree species across 49 regional ecosystems. The importance of stream-fringing communities in central Queensland is evident. This paper raises questions about some habitat viability and highlights gaps in knowledge of koala feeding ecology.


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Studying food preferences in captive cryptic folivores can assist in conservation planning: the case of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) 
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Sigrid Heise-Pavlov , Clare Anderson and Andrea Moshier
pp. 200-211

The knowledge of selective feeding habits of large folivores can assist in the prediction of their movements in fragmented landscapes and therefore in conservation planning. By monitoring the consumption of browse species provided to captive Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos it was found that this species shows general preferences for some browse species and seasonal preferences for others. These findings are important when planning habitat enlargement and connectivity projects for Lumholtz tree-kangaroo conservation.


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Population ecology of the eastern pygmy-possum (Cercartetus nanus) in a montane woodland in southern New South Wales 
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Jamie M. Harris , Ross L. Goldingay and Lyndon O. Brooks
pp. 212-218

The population ecology of the eastern pygmy-possum Cercartetus nanus, which is a vulnerable species in New South Wales, was studied at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. The local population was estimated to be up to 25 individuals, although there was a regular seasonal variation in abundance with a spring decline coinciding with the cessation of Banksia flowering. Long-term persistence of this species will depend on protecting areas where favoured plants are abundant as well as maintaining habitat connectivity.


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Does diet constrain the occupation of high elevations by macropods? A comparison between Macropus rufogriseus and Wallabia bicolor 
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K. Green , N. E. Davis and W. A. Robinson
pp. 219-228

Continuing declines in snow will open the mainland alpine zone, previously free from marsupial grazing, to wallabies that are already extending their elevational distribution. At high elevations, swamp wallabies consume their typical food but red-necked wallabies expand their diet to include a high intake of shrubs. Mainland alpine grazing impacts could mirror herbfield suppression as occurs in Tasmanian marsupial lawn.


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Successful reintroduction of the brushtail possum to Wadderin Sanctuary in the eastern wheatbelt of Western Australia 
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Jeff Short and Andrew Hide
pp. 229-241

Brushtail possums were reintroduced to Wadderin Sanctuary in the eastern wheatbelt of Western Australian in mid-2008. This was the first of eight species reintroduced to reconstruct the former fauna of this region. The possum population has persisted for >5 years, due largely to the absence of foxes and the ready availability of hollows and/or shelter sites in woodland and rock habitats.


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Burrowing behaviour of the northern hopping-mouse (Notomys aquilo): field observations 
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Rebecca L. Diete , Paul D. Meek , Christopher R. Dickman and Luke K.-P. Leung
pp. 242-246

Studying threatened wildlife can be challenging when a species is rare, cryptic or difficult to catch, but sound knowledge of such species can be critical to their conservation. With the aid of camera traps, we recorded the burrowing behaviour of the elusive northern hopping-mouse on Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. The results will improve detection methods for this species with ultimate benefits for conservation.

    | Supplementary Material (21.9 MB)

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Rapid decline in detections of the Tasmanian bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) following local incursion of feral cats (Felis catus) 
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Bronwyn A. Fancourt
pp. 247-253

This note reports an incidental observation of abrupt changes in the number of Tasmanian bettongs detected following the first appearance of feral cats at an eastern quoll monitoring site. Within four months of cats appearing, bettong detections had fallen by 58% and by 100% within six months. This observation suggests that feral cats should be considered a potential threat in the future management and conservation of the species.


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Gliding performance in the yellow-bellied glider in low-canopy forest 
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Ross L. Goldingay
pp. 254-258

Knowledge of the gliding performance of gliding mammals is fundamental to understanding how they have adapted to their environment and is of increasing relevance to their conservation. In low-canopy forest the horizontal gliding distance of yellow-bellied gliders averaged 25 m, equating to 2 m distance for every 1 m dropped in height. This performance is similar to that of other gliding petaurids in low-canopy forest.


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Improved technique for capturing the greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) using burrow cage traps 
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H. M. McGregor and K. E. Moseby
pp. 259-260

We developed a method of using burrow cage traps to capture bilbies at a low population density. The method had a high capture rate and should be applicable in other ecosystems.


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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    AM14003  Accepted 23 August 2014
    Penetration ability of echidna spines and porcupine quills
    Michael Augee, Brett Gooden

    AM12029  Accepted 03 June 2014
    Nitrogen transport from sea to land by threatened Australian Sea Lions (Neophoca cinerea) on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
    Trish Lavery, Ben Roudnew, James Mitchell

    AM13045  Accepted 01 May 2014
    A new population of the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) on the edge of the Little Sandy Desert, Western Australia.
    Jeff Turpin, Mike Bamford

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 12 September 2013
Evidence of rapid population decline of the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) in Tasmania

Bronwyn A. Fancourt, Clare E. Hawkins and Stewart C. Nicol

2. Published 12 September 2013
Koala habitat use and population density: using field data to test the assumptions of ecological models

William Ellis, Sean FitzGibbon, Alistair Melzer, Robbie Wilson, Steve Johnston, Fred Bercovitch, David Dique and Frank Carrick

3. Published 5 September 2014
Rapid decline in detections of the Tasmanian bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) following local incursion of feral cats (Felis catus)

Bronwyn A. Fancourt

4. Published 17 March 2014
Roads and macropods: interactions and implications

Amy R. F. Bond and Darryl N. Jones

5. Published 12 September 2013
Individual identification of northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) using remote cameras

Rosemary Hohnen, Jack Ashby, Katherine Tuft and Hugh McGregor

6. Published 17 March 2014
Horizontal or vertical? Camera trap orientations and recording modes for detecting potoroos, bandicoots and pademelons

Brendan D. Taylor, Ross L. Goldingay and John M. Lindsay

7. Published 12 September 2013
Home range size and use by the long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta) following fire

Christopher I. MacGregor, Jeff T. Wood, Nick Dexter and David B. Lindenmayer

8. Published 17 March 2014
Does woodland condition influence the diversity and abundance of small mammal communities?

T. L. Moore, L. E. Valentine, M. D. Craig, G. E. St J. Hardy and P. A. Fleming

9. Published 17 March 2014
Ecology and movement of urban koalas adjacent to linear infrastructure in coastal south-east Queensland

S. M. de Oliveira, P. J. Murray, D. L. de Villiers and G. S. Baxter

10. Published 17 March 2014
Camera traps provide insight into factors influencing trap success of the swamp wallaby, Wallabia bicolor

Ami Bennett and Graeme Coulson

11. Published 12 September 2013
Habitat preference of the Australian water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) in a coastal wetland and stream, Two Peoples Bay, south-western Australia

Peter C. Speldewinde, Paul Close, Melissa Weybury and Sarah Comer

12. Published 12 September 2013
Examining interactions between dingoes (wild dogs) and mesopredators: the need for caution when interpreting summary data from previously published work

Andrew W. Claridge

13. Published 12 September 2013
Behaviour and survivorship of a dasyurid predator (Antechinus flavipes) in response to encounters with the toxic and invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina)

Wiebke Kämper, Jonathan K. Webb, Mathew S. Crowther, Matthew J. Greenlees and Richard Shine

14. Published 12 September 2013
High predation risk for a small mammal: the eastern pygmy-possum (Cercartetus nanus)

Bradley Law, Mark Chidel and Alf Britton

15. Published 17 March 2014
Monitoring of small mammal populations in the Brindabella Ranges after fire

Micah J. Davies and Alex Drew

16. Published 12 September 2013
Population viability analysis shows spotted-tailed quolls may be vulnerable to competition

A. S. Glen and C. R. Dickman

17. Published 12 September 2013
The performance of wombat gates in controlling wildlife movement through a predator fence

T. D. Coates

18. Published 17 March 2014
Home range areas of koalas in an urban area of north-east New South Wales

Ross L. Goldingay and Barbara Dobner

19. Published 17 March 2014
Observations of breeding behaviour and possible infanticide in a wild population of Tasmanian echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus setosus)

Rachel L. Harris and Stewart C. Nicol

20. Published 5 September 2014
Genetic monitoring reveals significant population structure in eastern quolls: implications for the conservation of a threatened carnivorous marsupial

Maria J. Cardoso, Nick Mooney, Mark D. B. Eldridge, Karen B. Firestone and William B. Sherwin

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Volume 36 (2)

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red arrow Plight of the Eastern Quoll
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Watch author Bronwyn Fancourt discuss the plight of the Eastern Quoll on 7.30 Tasmania and the response to this discussion.


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