Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Fox control and rock-wallaby population dynamics

J. E. Kinnear, M. L. Onus and R. N. Bromilow

Australian Wildlife Research 15(4) 435 - 450
Published: 1988


The population dynamics of five remnant rock-wallaby populations (Petrogale lateralis) persisting on granite outcrops in the central wheatbelt region of Western Australia were monitored over a six year period. From 1979 to 1982 all populations remained relatively static or declined for unknown reasons, but circumstantial evidence implicated fox predation. A fox control program was implemented in 1982 on two outcrops and was maintained for four years with the result that the two resident rock-wallaby populations increased by 138 and 223%. Two rock-wallaby populations occupying sites not subjected to fox control declined by 14 and 85%, and the third population increased by 29%. It was concluded that the fox has probably been a significant factor in the demise and decline of native mammals in the past, and that surviving populations are still at risk. Control of predation pressure on nature reserves was shown to be feasible from a management perspective.


© CSIRO 1988

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