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

The Diet of the Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby in New-South-Wales

J Short

Australian Wildlife Research 16(1) 11 - 18
Published: 1989


The diet of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby, Petrogale penicillata, was studied at two sites on the central coast and tablelands of New South Wales over a 12-month period of below-average rainfall. Diet was assessed by microscopic analysis of faeces. Particles within the faeces were identified to broad categories of vegetation: grasses, sedges, forbs, parallel-veined shrubs, reticulate-veined shrubs, and ferns. Diets were similar at both sites despite considerable differences in annual average rainfall (1330 v.577mm) and vegetation. Grasses constituted 35-50% of the diet, forbs 25-40%, and browse 12-30%. Ferns and sedges were of minor importance or were absent from the diet. Preferences for particular plant categories (measured as abundance in diet divided by abundance in habitat) were greatest in summer. Parallel-veined shrubs and trees and forbs were most preferred at one site; grasses and shrubs and trees at the other. Ferns were preferred least.


© CSIRO 1989

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