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

The diet of the allied rock-wallaby, Petrogale assimilis, in the wet-dry tropics

A Horsup and H Marsh

Wildlife Research 19(1) 17 - 33
Published: 1992

Abstract

The diet of the allied rock-wallaby, Petrogale assimilis, an inhabitant of the wet-dry tropics of North Queensland, was studied over three years by microscopic faecal analysis, feeding observations, and an analysis of the ratios of the natural isotopes of 12*C and 13*C in the faeces. Forbs were the major food item, accounting for 22-65% of the identified epidermis in the faeces, and tended to be actively selected by the wallabies. Browse (20-41%) and plants with stellate trichomes (6-32%) were the next most-important dietary items, the latter being eaten in significantly higher proportions in the dry seasons of 1987 and 1988. Grass comprised only 5-16% of recognisable epidermis in the faeces, but was eaten in significantly higher proportions when fresh new growth was available. Forbs were difficult to identify at night, and most plants that rock-wallabies were recorded eating were those with stellate trichomes rather than forbs. The low incidence of grass in the diet was confirmed by the carbon-ratio analysis.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR9920017

© CSIRO 1992


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