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Scat contents of the spotted-tailed quoll Dasyurus maculatus in the New England gorges, north-eastern New South Wales

Jarman, P.J. and Allen, L.R. and Boschma, D.J. and Green, S.W. (2007) Scat contents of the spotted-tailed quoll Dasyurus maculatus in the New England gorges, north-eastern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Zoology, 55 (1). pp. 63-72.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO06014

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

Abstract

In 1313 scats of the spotted-tailed quoll Dasyurus maculatus, collected over 5 years from the gorge country of north-eastern New South Wales, the most frequent and abundant items were derived from mammals and a restricted set of insect orders. These quolls also ate river-associated items: waterbirds, eels, crayfish, aquatic molluscs and even frogs. Macropods contributed most of the mammal items, with possums, gliders and rodents also being common. Some food, particularly from macropods and lagomorphs, had been scavenged (as shown by fly larvae). The most frequent invertebrates were three orders of generally large insects Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Orthoptera, which were most frequent in summer and almost absent in winter scats. Monthly mean numbers of rodent and small dasyurid items per scat were inversely related to these large insects in scats. The numbers of reptile items were inversely related to the numbers of mammal (especially arboreal and small terrestrial mammal) items per scat, thus types of items interacted in their occurrences in monthly scat samples. Frequencies of most vertebrate items showed no seasonal, but much year-to-year, variation. This quoll population ate four main types of items, each requiring different skills to obtain: they hunted arboreal marsupials (possibly up trees), terrestrial small mammals and reptiles (on the ground), and seasonally available large insects (on trees or the ground), and scavenged carcases, mostly of large mammals but also birds and fishes (wherever they could find them).

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:QPIF, Biosecurity Queensland, DNR&W
Additional Information:© CSIRO Publishing.
Keywords:Spotted-tailed quoll; diet; scats; feeding ecology.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Mammals
Deposited On:22 Oct 2009 01:52
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 04:36

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