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

Distribution of the tammar, Macropus eugenii, and the relationships of populations as determined by cranial morphometrics

WE Poole, JT Wood and NG Simms

Wildlife Research 18(5) 625 - 639
Published: 1991


Apparently once widespread throughout dense thickets in south-western Australia, the tammar is now much restricted in its distribution. On mainland Australia, isolated populations still persist in Western Australia, but in South Australia, where there is little remaining evidence to confirm that it extended beyond Eyre Peninsula, the wallaby is probably close to extinction. All originally recorded populations on five islands in Western Australia remain, but in South Australia all natural island populations, other than those on Kangaroo I., appear to be extinct. Morphometric analyses of crania representative of most known populations provide a means of assessing their relationships. Canonical variate analysis, the derivation of Mahalanobis distances and subsequent calculation of minimum spanning trees supported the existence of affinities within three major regional groups-a group predominantly from Western Australia, a group from Kangaroo and Greenly Is, South Australia, and a group from New Zealand-all apparently related via a population from Eyre Peninsula, presumably representative of a former widespread mainland population. By cranial criteria, feral tammars established in New Zealand are South Australian in origin although probably not introduced from Kangaroo I.


© CSIRO 1991

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