Temporal variation in reproductive characteristics of an introduced and abundant island population of koalas

Whisson, Desley A. and Carlyon, Kris 2010, Temporal variation in reproductive characteristics of an introduced and abundant island population of koalas, Journal of mammalogy, vol. 91, no. 5, pp. 1160-1167.

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Title Temporal variation in reproductive characteristics of an introduced and abundant island population of koalas
Author(s) Whisson, Desley A.
Carlyon, Kris
Journal name Journal of mammalogy
Volume number 91
Issue number 5
Start page 1160
End page 1167
Publisher American Society of Mammalogists
Place of publication Lawrence, Kan.
Publication date 2010-10
ISSN 0022-2372
1545-1542
Keyword(s) koala
maternal characteristics
Phascolarctos cinereus
reproduction
wildlife management
Summary Reproductive characteristics of a wildlife population are typically sensitive to changes in environmental conditions and intrinsic factors. Knowledge of these relationships is critical for understanding population dynamics and effective long-term management of a population. We examined temporal variation in reproductive parameters of an abundant, genetically compromised, and high-density population of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, over 3 breeding seasons spanning 9 years: November–May of 1997–1998, 2005–2006, and 2006–2007. Timing of the breeding season was consistent between years, but fecundity, sex ratio of young, and the percentage of independent females (those not accompanying a lactating female) , 6 kg varied. Fecundity was lower than in other island populations, suggesting that the quality and distribution of food resources or inbreeding may be impacting the Kangaroo Island population. We did not test for Chlamydophila (synonym =Chlamydia), and clinical signs of this disease were not reported for any of the koalas in this study. However, historical evidence of Chlamydophila-infected koalas on Kangaroo Island exists, and the potential impact of this disease on fecundity warrants further investigation.
Language eng
Field of Research 060207 Population Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2010
Copyright notice ©2010, American Society of Mammalogists
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30032381

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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