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Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology$
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Malcolm Gordon

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240247

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240247.001.0001

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Conservation of Australian Arid-Zone Marsupials: Making Use of Knowledge of Their Energy and Water Requirements

Conservation of Australian Arid-Zone Marsupials: Making Use of Knowledge of Their Energy and Water Requirements

Chapter:
(p.122) 8 Conservation of Australian Arid-Zone Marsupials: Making Use of Knowledge of Their Energy and Water Requirements
Source:
Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology
Author(s):

Ian D. Hume

Lesley A. Gibson

Steven J. Lapidge

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520240247.003.0008

This chapter describes conservation studies of two Australian arid-zone marsupials, the bilby or rabbit-eared bandicoot (Macrotis lagotis) and the yellow-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus). Artificial watering points made possible the rapid and massive invasion of the Australian arid and semi-arid zones by both exotic herbivores and carnivores. This resulted in the removal of low vegetation that provides important refuges to marsupials, leaving them much more exposed to predation by exotic carnivores, such as foxes and feral cats. Studies on the energy and water requirements of both marsupials provide information that neither species require access to free water. By contrast, the introduced species have higher water requirements. This chapter suggests that since the introduced of species requires free water, one way to ensure the long-term conservation of both arid zone marsupials is the complete removal of artificial sources of water.

Keywords:   conservation studies, marsupials, bilby, rabbit-eared bandicoot, Macrotis lagotis, yellow-footed rock-wallaby, Petrogale xanthopus, exotic herbivores, exotic carnivores

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