Nocturnal home ranges and social interactions of the brushtailed rock-wallaby Petrogale penicillata at Hurdle Creek, Queensland.
RJ Laws and AW Goldizen
25(2) 169 - 176
The nocturnal ranges of six male and 15 female adult brush-tailed rock-wallabies (Petrogale penicillata) were calculated from November 2001 to March 2002 at Hurdle Creek, Queensland. Social interactions were recorded during the same period. Nocturnal range data were collected by walking transects with a spotlight, and identifying individuals from their colour-coded reflective eartags. Males’ nocturnal home ranges averaged 2.84 + 0.32 ha, while those of females averaged 2.01 + 0.20 ha, using the 100% minimum convex polygon method. Home ranges at this site were thus smaller than those described for this species at other sites. The nocturnal home ranges of males and females overlapped with those of several other individuals of both sexes. There appeared to be three groups within the population who emerged from their diurnal refuges along separate lengths of cliffs, had nocturnal ranges that overlapped highly with those of their own group and associated more often with members of their own group than with those of others, indicating social structuring within the population. Males and females associated with and had sexual interactions with several different partners, and there was no indication of long-term guarding of females by males at night. However, males may have monitored the oestrus state of females during the day and guarded females at night only during their oestrus periods.
Full text doi:10.1071/AM03169
© Australian Mammal Society 2003