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Translocation of a top-order carnivore: tracking the initial survival, spatial movement, home-range establishment and habitat use of Tasmanian devils on Maria Island

Citation

Thalman, S and Peck, S and Wise, P and Potts, JM and Clarke, J and Richley, J, Translocation of a top-order carnivore: tracking the initial survival, spatial movement, home-range establishment and habitat use of Tasmanian devils on Maria Island, Australian Mammalogy, 38, (1) pp. 68-79. ISSN 0310-0049 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Journal compilation copyright Australian Mammal Society 2016

DOI: doi:10.1071/AM15009

Abstract

The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial threatened with extinction from the emergence of Devil Facial Tumour Disease. The establishment of ex situ populations is a key management action for the species. We examined the initial survival, movement pattern, home range, and habit use of six devils from a total of 15 individuals translocated to Maria Island (south-east Tasmania). A total of 14 devils (93%) survived the initial monitoring phase within this study (122 days after translocation). The maximum and minimum distance recorded during one night was 21.73ákm (range = 14.12ľ25.40ákm) and 1.94ákm (range = 0.07-7.71ákm), respectively, while the average nightly distance travelled varied significantly (range = 7.24-13.07ákm) between individuals. Short-term home-range size (90% kernel) varied from 936 to 3501áha, with an average of 2180 (▒836) ha for all devils. The habitat preference of devils on Maria Island shows a positive association with agricultural and urban habitats, and an avoidance of wet eucalypt forest. The home range and habitat associations may change as competitive pressures increase with population growth; however, this initial research indicates that translocation as a management action is a powerful tool for the establishment of ex situ populations, assisting in the continued conservation of this species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:endangered species, habitat use, radio telemetry, spatial ecology, Tasmanian devil, Maria Island
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:Potts, JM (Dr Joanne Potts)
ID Code:118119
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:IMAS - Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-04
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:0

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