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 3 2017

Graphical Abstract Image

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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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.

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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.

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
pp. 179-182
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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.

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.

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
pp. 200-202
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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.

Online Early

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

Published online 14 February 2018

ZO17044Nesting behaviour of the endangered Mary River turtle: monitoring and modelling to inform e-flow strategies

T. Espinoza, M. Connell, S. Marshall, R. Beukeboom and A. McDougall
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The Mary River turtle has endured long-term recruitment failure due to multiple impacts across its life-history and is protected under various legislation. This study investigated the nesting behaviour of Elusor macrurus, including the environmental drivers that affect nest inundation. Results will inform the development and assessment of e-flow strategies for nesting of E. macrurus in terms of current, and future water resource development.
Photo by Marilyn Connell.

Faecal pellet counts showed that overlap in habitat use by native and introduced mammalian herbivores was generally high, and that resource partitioning was more strongly influenced by evolutionary history than body size. The potential for competition was evident, yet coexistence was facilitated by niche complementarity, including temporal and fine-scale resource partitioning.

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Within the dasyurid genus Pseudantechinus, DNA sequences from nuclear and mitochondrial gene loci differentiate most species as reciprocally monophyletic lineages. They are, however, unable to distinguish between individuals identified in museum collections as Pseudantechinus macdonnellensis and Ps. roryi. Ps. roryi is thus considered to be a synonym of Ps. macdonnellensis.
Photo by P. A. Woolley and D. Walsh.

Published online 15 December 2017

ZO17028Land-use change on Mount Gede, Indonesia, reduced native earthworm populations and diversity

Andy Darmawan, Tri Atmowidi, Wasmen Manalu and Bambang Suryobroto
Graphical Abstract Image

The conversion of natural forest to agroforestry plantations and annual cropping systems have reduced native earthworm populations and diversity on Mount Gede, Indonesia. Notoscolex javanica was the only native species to survive this deforestation, while the exotic Ocnerodrilus occidentalis and Pontoscolex corethrurus thrived, becoming the eudominant species.
Photo by Andy Darmawan.

Published online 14 December 2017

ZO17043Sand type influences the energetics of nest escape in Brisbane river turtle hatchlings

Mohd Uzair Rusli and David T. Booth

Open flow respirometry was used to quantify the influence of sand type and cohort size on the energetic cost of digging in freshwater hatchlings. For a fixed cohort size, hatchlings spent more energy digging through coarse sand than fine sand, and on a per individual basis, larger cohorts spent less energy while digging in both coarse and fine sand.

Published online 11 December 2017

ZO17047Turning the threat into a solution: using roadways to survey cryptic species and to identify locations for conservation

James H. Baxter-Gilbert, Julia L. Riley, Sean P. Boyle, David Lesbarrères and Jacqueline D. Litzgus

Freshwater turtle populations can be jeopardised by the negative effects of roads. However, roads also represent a powerful sampling tool for a variety of data, and should be used for conducting environmental assessments, ecological research, and informing conservation. Our article tests and discusses best practices for conducting turtle road surveys.

Published online 30 November 2017

ZO17054Freshwater turtle hatchlings that stay in the nest: strategists or prisoners?

Bruce C. Chessman
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Delayed nest emergence of freshwater turtle hatchlings is considered an adaptation whereby hatchlings enter the aquatic environment at the best time for survival and growth. However, delayed emergence in a population of the Australian turtle, Chelodina longicollis, appeared to be mainly due to imprisonment in the nest by hard soil.
Photo by Bruce Chessman.

Graphical Abstract Image

A major decline of the swamp antechinus was recorded in the eastern Otways (2013–2017) compared to previous records (1975–2007) where high-density populations occurred, particularly after high rainfall. Low rainfall and fragmented habitat resulted in declines, and wildfire extirpation. Recovery under a drying climate is unlikely without targeted management.
Photo by B. Wilson.

Just Accepted

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