Life history and demographics of an island possum
Isaac, Joanne L. (2005) Life history and demographics of an island possum. Australian Journal of Zoology, 53 (3). pp. 195-203.
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Knowledge of life history and demography is essential for effective management of target species. Here, I describe life history and demographic traits of the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) on Magnetic Island, north Queensland. Data were collected during monthly live-trapping sessions over three years (2001–2004). Density was ~100% higher than reported in most Australian populations, at 5 possums per hectare; losses from the population were more than compensated for by births and immigration. Age-specific survival differed between the sexes: male survival declined earlier and faster than female survival. Males were significantly heavier than females as adults and sexual dimorphism appears to arise through a faster growth rate in males following weaning. Age at maturity in females varied from 1 to 3 years; 61% of females produced their first young at age 2. Males became sexually mature at age 3. Breeding was seasonal, with >50% births occurring in April–May; a smaller birth peak in spring was due to some females producing a second young after they had successfully weaned a first. The Magnetic Island possum population appears to be more similar to New Zealand populations, in terms of their life history and demographics, than to other previously studied mainland Australian populations.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Date Deposited:||14 Jan 2010 04:34|
|FoR Codes:||06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 100%|
|SEO Codes:||96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%|
|Citation Count from Web of Science||