Catalog Home Page

Reintroduction of the greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor) to Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay: An unsuccessful attempt to establish a mainland population

Short, J., Richards, J.D. and O'Neill, S. (2017) Reintroduction of the greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor) to Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay: An unsuccessful attempt to establish a mainland population. Australian Mammalogy, 40 (2). pp. 269-280.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1071/AM17046
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

Greater stick-nest rats were reintroduced to Heirisson Prong from Salutation Island at Shark Bay to establish the first mainland population in Western Australia in over 60 years. Forty-eight animals were transferred over two years from August 1999 to a 17-ha enclosure of natural vegetation that excluded foxes and feral cats. This refuge from introduced predators was located within a larger 1200-ha area where these predators were controlled. Stick-nest rats were able to disperse from the refuge to the wider area. The reintroduction was unsuccessful, with the last record in August 2007. Rats were reproducing in most years, yet only 28 recruits were detected over the reintroduction. Mean condition of rats was better at the reintroduction site relative to the source site. Survivorship of successive translocation cohorts was poorer than that of their predecessors, and survivorship of recruits was poorer than that of translocated animals. The most likely explanations for the decline are predation from monitors and small birds of prey within the refuge, and from monitors, small birds of prey and feral cats outside the refuge. An irruption of other rodents immediately before and coinciding with the reintroduction and building rabbit numbers likely contributed to elevated levels of predation from predators.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Australian Mammal Society Inc.
Copyright: © 2017 Australian Mammal Society
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/41438
Item Control Page Item Control Page