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The distribution and abundance of the banded and rufous hare-wallabies, Lagostrophus fasciatus and Lagorchestes hirsutus

Short, J. and Turner, B. (1992) The distribution and abundance of the banded and rufous hare-wallabies, Lagostrophus fasciatus and Lagorchestes hirsutus. Biological Conservation, 60 (3). pp. 157-166.

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The only substantial wild populations of banded Lagostrophus fasciatus and rufous Lagorchestes hirsutus hare-wallabies occur on Bernier and Dorre Islands, off the coast of Western Australia. Banded hare-wallabies were widespread in southwestern Australia but have not been recorded there since 1906; rufous hare-wallabies had a broad distribution across arid Australia but now have a single mainland population in the Tanami Desert.

We assessed distribution and abundance of hare-wallabies on Bernier and Dorre Islands from spotlight sightings of animals on a series of east-west transects across each island. Abundance was estimated using line transects. The banded hare-wallaby is the more abundant species on both islands with a population of about 3,900 on Bernier and 3,800 on Dorre Island. This species depends on the shelter afforded by low-spreading shrubs of Heterodendrum oleifolium, Acacia coriacea, A. ligulata, Diplolaena dampiera, and Ficus platypoda. Wallabies occur mainly on the dunes that form the spine of Dorre Island and the travertine of its west coast. On Bernier Island they occur in the north, where dense thickets of Acacia coriacea, A ligulata, H. oleifolium and D. dampiera, and a tall heath of Abutilon exoneum and Scaevola crassifolia are best developed. The rufous hare-wallaby has a population of about 2,600 on Bernier and 1,700 on Dorre Island. It occurs throughout both islands in most habitats, but is most abundant in the south of each. It burrows extensively on the inland sandplain and in the dunes.

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