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Title: Assessing Possums' Food Preferences and Demand
Contributor(s): Cameron, Kristie E (author); Bizo, Lewis  (author); Starkey, Nicola J (author)
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: The Brushtail possum ('Trichosurus vulpecula') is reported to eat vegetation, fruit, flowers, fungi and meat in the form of birds (e.g., starlings, blackbirds) and their eggs. However, this omnivorous behaviour and ability to adapt to a varying diet has not been investigated systematically. The first experiment involved a single stimulus preference assessment of possum's consumption of individually presented food items that included: meat, eggs, native foliage, fruit and invertebrates. The second and third experiments used paired stimulus assessment and concurrent schedule procedures to establish ranked preference and demand curves for these different food types. Results suggest that captive possums display similar opportunistic feeding behaviour observed in wild possums. Further studies will examine the development and influence of food choices by other possums on the transmission of taste preferences between possums. These studies may provide information relevant to maintaining captive populations of possums for behavioural research by contributing to the knowledge of methodologies compatible with possums and provide strategies and practices for the management of the pest problem in New Zealand.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: 8th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis, Hamilton, New Zealand, 26th - 28th August, 2011
Conference Details: 8th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis, Hamilton, New Zealand, 26th - 28th August, 2011
Source of Publication: New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis 8th Annual Conference Programme Booklet, p. 7-7
Publisher: New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis (NZABA)
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
960409 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Mountain and High Country Environments
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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