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Aspects of the ecology of swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) on a Bass Strait island

journal contribution
posted on 2006-05-21, 00:00 authored by M Sale, S Ward, John ArnouldJohn Arnould
The swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) is a small insectivorous marsupial inhabiting closed heath and tussock grassland in south-eastern Australia. The species is considered 'Near Threatened' on the
Australian mainland. Populations persist on coastal islands off Wilsons Promontory, but their current status is unknown. This study investigated the density, diet and reproduction of the swamp antechinus on Kanowna Island.
Data were collected by live trapping in different vegetation types during four trips between August 2003 and January 2004. Higher animal densities (47-129 ha-1) were found for Kanowna Island than for previously studied mainland populations (1-18 ha-1). Examination ofscats showed that this species eats a wide variety ofprey types, with moth larvae a major dietary component, particularly during the breeding season. Births were estimated to have occurred between 28 June and 8 August, which is a longer period than reported for other populations of this species. Factors including reduced predation, restricted dispersal and increased food availability may be responsible for supporting this dense population.

History

Journal

Wildlife research

Volume

33

Pagination

215 - 221

Publisher

CSIRO Pub.

Location

Collingwood, Vic.

ISSN

1035-3712

eISSN

1448-5494

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006, CSIRO