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Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society

Australian Mammalogy

Australian Mammalogy

Australian Mammalogy is an important source of information on all aspects of the biology of Australasian mammals – both native and introduced. Read more about the journalMore

Editor: Ross Goldingay

Publishing Model: Hybrid. Open Access options available.

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These articles are the latest published in the journal. Australian Mammalogy has moved to a continuous publication model. More information is available on our Continuous Publication page.

Published online 13 February 2024

AM23048Platypus longevity: a new record in the wild and information on captive life span

Melody Serena, Gemma Snowball, Jessica L. Thomas, Geoff A. Williams and Al Danger

Close-up photograph of a platypus resting on the surface of a farm dam.

A new platypus longevity record in the wild (nearly 24 years) has been confirmed for a male living in a creek in Melbourne's southeastern suburbs. In captivity, a female platypus recently reached the age of 30 years at Healesville Sanctuary. Photograph by Barry Baker.

A spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) scat collected in a fragmented habitat in the Hunter Valley, NSW contained evidence of a broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus). Given the nearest population of broad-toothed rat is located 50 km away in the Barrington Tops, this is a potentially important discovery for the conservation of this threatened species.

Two vertically aligned photographs of camera trap images – top showing a spotted-tailed quoll and underneath showing three long-nosed potoroos.

Camera-trapping programs need to be informed by decisions made around bait and camera type, as well as camera deployment and service intervals. This study investigated these factors in relation to the detection of eight medium-sized mammal species, including three threatened species: the spotted-tailed quoll; long-nosed potoroo; and Parma wallaby. Photograph by R. Goldingay.

A young platypus swimming in the Blue Lake at Jenolan stops to look at the photographer.

Because of their cryptic nature and being active predominately at night, movement of wild platypuses is poorly documented. Our studies of their movements in the upper Jenolan River showed them moving around and through natural and artificial instream structures, including across weirs, through culverts, around waterfalls and entering caves. This research is important to the management and conservation of the species in relation to human activities in rivers. Photograph by Anne Musser.

Published online 19 January 2024

AM23013Nutritional composition of plants and preliminary assessment of nutrition in free-ranging bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus)

Fiona F. Casey, Blaire T. Vallin, Jack Wolfenden, Julie M. Old 0000-0002-2754-7757 and Hayley J. Stannard 0000-0002-6657-5435

Nutritional value of plants available as food for bare-nosed wombats was assessed at sites within NSW. Significant seasonal and site differences were determined. Wombats are affected by sarcoptic mange, which affects their metabolic rate and nutrient needs; therefore, supporting nutrition and health of wombats is important for conservation of this species.

Published online 19 January 2024

AM23035Death of a wombat

Matt Gaughwin

Wombats are interested in their dead. We found that Southern hairy-nosed wombats of a warren often inspected the body of a wombat that died there. Such interest may help wombats understand death as something different from life.

Photograph of a platypus emerging from Kellaways Creek to a sandy bank

We investigated how equipment-related differences and sources of spatial and temporal variation affected how often platypus activity was recorded by time-lapse camera models along a southern Tasmanian creek. The results confirm that time-lapse cameras can be a useful tool for platypus detection and monitoring. Photograph by Simon Roberts.

Published online 18 January 2024

AM23042Cannibalism in the mainland dusky antechinus (Antechinus mimetes mimetes) during the breeding period

Andrew M. Baker 0000-0001-8825-1522, Elliot Bowerman 0009-0006-1560-0422 and Ian C. Gynther 0000-0002-0645-4746

The carnivorous marsupial genus Antechinus is well known for exhibiting suicidal reproduction – every year, all males die after the 1–3 week breeding period. The death of males presents an opportunity for cheap energy gain via cannibalism for still-living male and female antechinuses. Here, we report cannibalism in the mainland dusky antechinus (Antechinus mimetes mimetes) – an individual was observed eating a dead member of its own species during the breeding period. This is rare field-based evidence of opportunistic cannibalism in a mammal.

Published online 09 January 2024

AM23038Not so fussy after all: Shark Bay mouse (Pseudomys gouldii) recorded using a range of habitat types on Faure Island

Bryony Joan Palmer 0000-0002-8826-9121, Saul Jesse Cowen 0000-0002-1045-5637 and Amanda Ruth Bourne 0000-0001-6078-0676

Most translocations of Shark Bay mice have failed, and a lack of understanding about what habitat types are important may be a contributing factor. We assessed habitat associations of Shark Bay mice on Faure Island and found, contrary to previous research, no clear or consistent association with coastal spinifex. Our study shows that relying on limited information from the remaining island population of this once-widespread species may have led to incorrect conclusions about what habitat features are important.

Published online 14 December 2023

AM23043Estimating age of wild eastern grey kangaroos through molar progression

Wendy J. King 0000-0002-5832-0088 and Graeme Coulson 0000-0001-9873-8203

Photograph (ventral view), of two kangaroo skulls aged 1.5 and 13.3 years, showing molar progression.

The age of an animal affects every aspect of its biology. Almost 60 years ago, a researcher devised a way to estimate the age of captive kangaroos from their teeth, but the results have never been confirmed. We followed wild kangaroos through their whole lives and found that the estimates closely matched their true ages, so this method can now be used with confidence in kangaroo field studies. Photograph by Wendy J. King.

Published online 07 December 2023

AM23012Interactions between adult male koalas and dependent joeys in a high-density population

Darcy J. Watchorn and Desley A. Whisson

We observed interactions between adult males and dependent joeys that were mostly passive in nature, suggesting that interactions with adult males are not a major threat to joey survival. However, one male–joey interaction resulted in a joey falling approximately 7 m to the ground, an incident that may have resulted in the death of the joey had we not intervened. We suggest that there is potential for infant death to occur under the generalised aggression hypothesis for koalas.

Published online 04 December 2023

AM23001The reaction of wild-caught northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus) to predators

M. C. Edwards 0000-0002-1561-1942, J. M. Hoy 0000-0002-6337-5761, S. I. FitzGibbon and P. J. Murray

Photograph of a wild‐caught northern brown bandicoot at a feeding tray on a dish of sand with predator faeces

Some Australian mammals may not recognise introduced predators and are naïve to the threat they pose. We assessed how wild-caught bandicoots reacted to a variety of predators, and our results show that bandicoots may recognise a live dog or cat as a threat. Bandicoots may need to be trained to recognise and respond appropriately to some predator cues to maximise their chance of survival in the wild. Photograph by MC Edwards.

Published online 01 December 2023

AM23024Population size, morphometrics and movement patterns of the brush-tailed mulgara (Dasycercus blythi): is predation by mammalian predators having an effect?

Madison Read, Keith Morris, Jane Prince, Colleen Sims, Harriet Mills and Cheryl Lohr 0000-0002-8925-0983

Landscape-scale feral cat control that maintains a feral cat detection rate at or below 10 cats per 100 km of linear transect is sufficient to conserve mulgara populations in the arid rangelands of Australia. But to fully understand the effects of cat predation on mulgara, further research involving an area with a high density of feral cats is required.

Published online 31 October 2023

AM23027A leucistic platypus observed on the New England Tablelands of New South Wales

Louise M. Streeting 0000-0002-1663-0010, Richard Daugherty, Sarah Burrows, Deborah S. Bower, Sandy Watson, Neve Daugherty and Martin L. Dillon

Photo of a leucistic platypus on the surface of a stream, with five Western saw-shelled turtles basking on logs nearby.

The platypus is one of the world’s most extraordinary animals. Although many people may never encounter this unique mammal in the wild, we observed and captured footage of a rare white platypus! Our search of scientific literature, newspapers and databases yielded 12 novel records of albino or atypically white individuals dating back to 1835. Our observation likely represents the only known record of a leucistic platypus. Photograph by Louise Streeting.

Published online 19 October 2023

AM23030Mainland broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus mordicus) recovery after wildfire

Martin Schulz, Catriona D Campbell and Mellesa Schroder 0000-0001-6178-0109

The Black Summer wildfires impacted many native mammals, including threatened species that are restricted in distribution, such as the broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus). Although the fires severely burnt over 30% of Kosciuszko National Park, a stronghold for this species, subsequent surveys have shown in the last 3 years that the broad-toothed rat has re-appeared in 66% of locations where it had been recorded pre-fire. This finding suggests that, over time, it will repopulate severely burnt areas as long as refugia are present, combined with other management activities, such as the control of large herbivores that impact vegetation regeneration.

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