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Low-density koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations in the mulgalands of south-west Queensland. II. Distribution and diet

Sullivan, B.J. and Norris, W.M. and Baxter, G.S. (2003) Low-density koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations in the mulgalands of south-west Queensland. II. Distribution and diet. Wildlife Research, 30 (4). pp. 331-338.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR00032

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au

Abstract

This study used faecal pellets to investigate the broadscale distribution and diet of koalas in the mulgalands biogeographic region of south-west Queensland. Koala distribution was determined by conducting faecal pellet searches within a 30-cm radius of the base of eucalypts on 149 belt transects, located using a multi-scaled stratified sampling design. Cuticular analysis of pellets collected ffom 22 of these sites was conducted to identify the dietary composition of koalas within the region. Our data suggest that koala distribution is concentrated in the northern and more easterly regions of the study area, and appears to be strongly linked with annual rainfall. Over 50% of our koala records were obtained from non-riverine communities, indicating that koalas in the study area are not primarily restricted to riverine communities, as bas frequently been suggested. Cuticular analysis indicates that more than 90% of koala diet within the region consists of five eucalypt species. Our data highlights the importance of residual Tertiary landforms to koala conservation in the region.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Koala; Phascolarctos cinerius; populations; Queensland; diet.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Mammals > Marsupialia. Marsupials > Diprotodontia (Kangaroos, koalas, possums, wombats, bilbies etc)
Deposited On:02 Aug 2005
Last Modified:22 Nov 2010 02:57

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