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The impact of disease on the survival and population growth rate of the Tasmanian devil


Lachich, S and Jones, ME and McCallum, HI, The impact of disease on the survival and population growth rate of the Tasmanian devil, Journal of Animal Ecology, 76, (5) pp. 926-936 . ISSN 0021-8790 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01272.x


1. We investigated the impact of a recently emerged disease, Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), on the survival and population growth rate of a population of Tasmanian devils, Sarcophilus harrisii, on the Freycinet Peninsula in eastern Tasmania. 2. Cormack-Jolly-Seber and multistate mark-recapture models were employed to investigate the impact of DFTD on age- and sex-specific apparent survival and transition rates. Disease impact on population growth rate was investigated using reverse-time mark-recapture models. 3. The arrival of DFTD triggered an immediate and steady decline in apparent survival rates of adults and subadults, the rate of which was predicted well by the increase in disease prevalence in the population over time. 4. Transitions from healthy to diseased state increased with disease prevalence suggesting that the force of infection in the population is increasing and that the epidemic is not subsiding. 5. The arrival of DFTD coincided with a marked, ongoing decline in the population growth rate of the previously stable population, which to date has not been offset by population compensatory responses. © 2007 The Authors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Jones, ME (Professor Menna Jones)
UTAS Author:McCallum, HI (Professor Hamish McCallum)
ID Code:49706
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:111
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2011-10-12

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