Chapter

Conservation of Australian Arid-Zone Marsupials: Making Use of Knowledge of Their Energy and Water Requirements

Ian D. Hume, Lesley A. Gibson and Steven J. Lapidge

in Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780520240247
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930636 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520240247.003.0008
Conservation of Australian Arid-Zone Marsupials: Making Use of Knowledge of Their Energy and Water Requirements

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This chapter describes conservation studies of two Australian arid-zone marsupials, the bilby or rabbit-eared bandicoot (Macrotis lagotis) and the yellow-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus). Artificial watering points made possible the rapid and massive invasion of the Australian arid and semi-arid zones by both exotic herbivores and carnivores. This resulted in the removal of low vegetation that provides important refuges to marsupials, leaving them much more exposed to predation by exotic carnivores, such as foxes and feral cats. Studies on the energy and water requirements of both marsupials provide information that neither species require access to free water. By contrast, the introduced species have higher water requirements. This chapter suggests that since the introduced of species requires free water, one way to ensure the long-term conservation of both arid zone marsupials is the complete removal of artificial sources of water.

Keywords: conservation studies; marsupials; bilby; rabbit-eared bandicoot; Macrotis lagotis; yellow-footed rock-wallaby; Petrogale xanthopus; exotic herbivores; exotic carnivores

Chapter.  3542 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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