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Moving mammals and their hangers-on: the ecology of translocated animals and parasites

Dunlop, J., Morris, K., Smith, A. and Thompson, A. (2010) Moving mammals and their hangers-on: the ecology of translocated animals and parasites. In: Ecological Society of Australia 2010 Annual Conference Sustaining biodiversity – the next 50 years (book of abstracts), 4 - 10 December, Canberra, ACT, Australia.


One of the largest mammal translocations in Australia took place earlier this year, providing a unique opportunity for an in depth investigation into the population ecology, parasitology and survival of relocated animals. 183 golden bandicoots (Isoodon auratus) from Barrow Island and 144 boodies (Bettongia lesueur) were translocated from 2 different source populations (Barrow Island and Dryandra captive breeding centre) and released in central Western Australia, at Lorna Glen. This study aims to assess important factors in determining the translocation success at an individual and population level, and understand the population ecology of parasites and stressed hosts. The animals were closely monitored for parasitological, reproductive and condition status before and after the relocation at six-week intervals. Half of the population were treated with a topical antiparasitic treatment in order to experimentally manipulate the transmission of blood parasites and reduce overall parasite load. We expect to see an effect on survival, fecundity and condition of the animals according to their treatment groups and population origin. This project addresses the need for more quantitative science and experimentation in translocations in order to promote greater successes.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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