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Title: Dingo ('Canis familiaris dingo' Meyer 1793) Predation and its Effect on the Major Prey Species, the Swamp Wallaby ('Wallabia bicolor' Desmarest 1804) in North-Eastern New South Wales
Contributor(s): Robertshaw, John Douglas (author); Harden, Bob (supervisor); de Bavay, John (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1985
Copyright Date: 1984
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The food habits of the dingo were compared between two sites which differed in the relative number of macropods per dingo. The effect of dingo predation on the single major prey species, 'Wallabia bicolor', was studied in both sites. An overview of the diet of the dingo was obtained by the examination of the occurrence of prey species in 1493 dingo scats. The results of this examination were analysed annually and seasonally for each site. The dingo consumed a wide variety of prey items of which 96% were mammalian. The mammalian component consisted of a minimum of 26 species but only 5 species had a percentage occurrence of )5%. These were, in order of importance, 'W. bicolor' (44%), 'Rattus fuscipes' (12%), 'Macropus rufogriseus' (9%), 'Antechinus' spp. (6%) and 'Macropus parma' (5%). Between March and October the equitability of prey species in the diet increased, indicating both a greater array and more even distribution of the species in the diet. ... The major effect of predation in the site with the lower macropod availability was the disruption to the spring-summer peak in reproductive activity of 'W. bicolor'. It is suggested that the greater predation pressure at this site on 'W. bicolor', for 3 to 4 years prior to and during, the study, had led to a significant number of females having lost their pouch young through harassment by the dingoes. This harassment by the dingoes is believed to have produced the continuous breeding pattern observed. Not only was this disruption observed in the estimated month of birth of the pouch young but also in a greater frequency of active corpora lutea in the ovaries and in the elevated testicular weights throughout the year.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 1984 - John Douglas Robertshaw
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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