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Veterinary investigation of population declines of the woylie (Bettongia penicillata) in south-west Western Australia

Reiss, A., Eden, P., Wayne, A., Pacioni, C., Nicholls, P.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-7071-3055 and Thompson, A. (2008) Veterinary investigation of population declines of the woylie (Bettongia penicillata) in south-west Western Australia. In: 21st Australasian Wildlife Management Society Conference, 24 - 27 November, Fremantle, Western Australia.


Since 2006 veterinarians from Perth Zoo have been working collaboratively with the Department of Environment and Conservation and Murdoch University to investigate the causes of dramatic population declines in free-ranging woylies in south west Western Australia.

Investigation to date has included examining and collecting diagnostic samples from free-ranging and captive woylies, and from conspecific free-living vertebrate species. Blood samples are analysed for haematologic and biochemical parameters, along with evidence for specific pathogens (including Macropod Herpes Virus, Trypanosomes, Toxoplasmosis and Piroplasmosis). Obviously diseased animals undergo thorough veterinary examination and treatment at Perth Zoo. Full post mortem examinations are conducted on deceased animals, including histological examination of tissues, by university pathologists.

Historical information from previous disease outbreaks or population declines in woylies has been collated. Temporal and spatial analysis of the complex data sets collected during field investigations facilitates understanding of the factors influencing population dynamics.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Notes: Abstract appears in: A. S. Glen (Ed). Proceedings of the 21st Australasian Wildlife Management Society Conference. Western Australian Government, Fremantle.
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