Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology is an international journal covering the evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology of Australasian fauna. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Paul Cooper


Current Issue

Australian Journal of Zoology

Volume 65 Number 2 2017

This study investigated the abundance and detectability of forest owls in south-western Australia. Boobooks occurred 23 times (48% of nights) and the masked owl once in 42 surveys. Tawny frogmouths were detected three times. These results are considered with two other investigations of forest owls in the region.

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Yellow-spotted goannas (Varanus panoptes) are the main turtle nest predators at the Wreck Rock rookery, adjacent to Deepwater National Park in south-east Queensland. Examination of space-use patterns indicates that it is the larger male yellow-spotted goannas that are the main predators of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach-nesting aggregation.
Photo by Juan Lei.

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Describing the population trends of threatened species is central to conservation. We conducted mark–recapture modelling for a population of green and golden bell frogs in two periods, 17 years apart. There was no evidence this unmanaged population was in decline. We highlight factors that may cause bias in population modelling.
Photo by Sergio Jacomy.

ZO16079Morphometric analysis of the Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni)

Glenn P. Edwards, Grahame J. Webb, S. Charlie Manolis and Alex Mazanov
pp. 97-111
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We conducted a morphometric analysis of Crocodylus johnstoni and present formulae which allow the accurate reconstruction of C. johnstoni from measurements of individual body parts. We also compared relative growth in C. johnstoni to that in other species of crocodile and discuss possible ecological correlates of observed differences.
Photo by Yusuke Fukuda.

ZO17005Do female dingo–dog hybrids breed like dingoes or dogs?

Marina S. Cursino, Lana Harriott, Benjamin L. Allen, Matthew Gentle and Luke K.-P. Leung
pp. 112-119

The breeding seasonality of female dingo–dog hybrids was investigated. Ovary follicular phase was characterised by growing follicles in late summer and autumn. Characteristics of uterus pregnancy were observed in winter and coincided with a peak of corpus luteum. Overall, the data show that hybrids have a single annual breeding season in winter, exhibiting the same breeding seasonality as dingoes.

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We investigated relationships between Pseudomys pilligaensis and other small mammals in terms of their population fluctuations and habitat selection during its irruption. It is suggested that Mus domesticus was possibly excluded from our sites through competition with P. pilligaensis. This study provides ecological information which can contribute to effective management planning for P. pilligaensis.
Photo by Hideyuki Tokushima.

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The occurrence of high poststorm discharge in the period when juveniles are confined to nesting burrows was the best predictor of platypus reproductive failure in the unregulated upper Shoalhaven River. In contrast, a significant positive linear relationship was identified between percentage lactation and antecedent March–July flow.
Photo by the Australian Platypus Conservancy.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 20 November 2017

ZO17053Isolation and characterisation of microsatellites for the endangered Slater’s skink, Liopholis slateri (Squamata : Scincidae), via next-generation sequencing

Michael G. Gardner, Mina H. Ansari, Claire E. Treilibs, Angharad Johnston, Chris R. Pavey and C. Michael Bull
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We characterised 14 new polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered lizard, Liopholis slateri. In addition to the reporting of new markers, we used scats as a source of DNA for subsequent genotyping. Gaining genetic information from scats will help advance our knowledge of this threatened species through non-invasive means.
Photo by Claire Treilibs.

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We examined diet composition and prey preference of the buff-footed antechinus (Antechinus mysticus) in its southernmost and northernmost populations. Diet was dominated by Araneae (spiders), Blattodea (cockroaches) and Coleoptera (beetles). A. mysticus is evidently a dietary generalist, opportunistically consuming mostly invertebrate prey with supplementary predation on small vertebrates.
Photo by Kevin Stone.

Published online 27 October 2017

ZO17036It’s a girl! A female southern elephant seal born in Western Australia

Clive R. McMahon, Michele Thums, Miecha Bradshaw, Steven Busby, Vaughn Chapple, Melissa Evans, Stephen Goodlich, Clair Holland, Holly Raudino, Paul Rebuck and Mark A. Hindell
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Southern elephant seals typically breed on subantarctic islands. We report on the successful weaning of a female southern elephant seal in Western Australia born to a first-time breeding mother in November 2016. This seal (1.42 m long, nose-to-tail length) fell within the lower quartile of weaning sizes and has low first-year survival prospects (20–35%).
Photo by Rebecca Lee.

Published online 24 October 2017

ZO17046Mammals on Western Australian islands: occurrence and preliminary analysis

Andrew A. Burbidge and Ian Abbott

We present a database of terrestrial mammal records on Western Australian islands that includes records of 88 indigenous species on 155 islands, compared with 54 indigenous species on 141 WA islands in Abbott and Burbidge (1995). The database also provides 266 records of 21 species of non-indigenous mammal species on 138 WA islands.

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Marsupials are not generally regarded as nest-predators of birds. Three marsupials – boodie (Bettongia lesueur), woylie (B. penicillata) and brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) – were identified taking eggs from artificial ground nests. Dietary evidence of bettongs consuming vertebrates, including live prey, is presented.
Photo by John Lawson.

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Populations of the endangered grassland earless dragon, Tympanocryptis pinguicolla, from two elevations were compared for seasonal preferred temperature in a laboratory temperature gradient and in the field using radio-telemetry and chest temperature measurements. These data and operative temperatures in various microhabitats indicate that these lizards are moderate thermoregulators.
Photo by L. S. Nelson.

Published online 04 September 2017

ZO17004Demographic parameters of the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) in an urban forest remnant

David J. Sharpe and Ross L. Goldingay
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Effective management of species requires detailed knowledge of key population parameters. We conducted capture–mark–recapture of the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis). The overall probability of annual apparent survival was 0.49 ± 0.08. Estimates of population size varied markedly over our 4-year study, but suggested this population near Brisbane was in decline.
Photo by Ross Goldingay.

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