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Reintroduction of macropods (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea) in Australia—A review

Short, J., Bradshaw, S.D., Giles, J., Prince, R.I.T. and Wilson, G.R. (1992) Reintroduction of macropods (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea) in Australia—A review. Biological Conservation, 62 (3). pp. 189-204.

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This paper describes six recent attempts to conserve threatened wallabies (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea) by reintroduction. All ended in failure. We place these attempts within the context of nineteen other reintroductions of macropods known to us. Success of reintroduction of macropods appears to depend critically on control or exclusion of exotic terrestrial predators. Islands without exotic predators support a success rate of reintroductions an order of magnitude higher than that of mainland sites and islands with exotic predators (82% cf. 8%).

Reintroductions have generally been poorly monitored and poorly documented. Researchers have often failed to appreciate the enormity of the task of controlling introduced predators (foxes and feral cats and dogs) and herbivores (rabbits), and to make adequate use of existing technology (radiotelemetry), and have been unable to overcome the logistical problems of managing reintroductions far from their research bases. Successes in management and reintroduction of other threatened fauna in Australia suggest that effective control of introduced predators and rabbits using the poison 1080, for which many native species have a high tolerance, may provide an effective means of managing mainland reintroductions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 1992 Published by Elsevier Ltd
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