Diet and breeding of the rufous spiny bandicoot Echymipera rufescens australis, Iron Range, Cape York Peninsula

Shevill, D. I. , and Johnson, C.N. (2008) Diet and breeding of the rufous spiny bandicoot Echymipera rufescens australis, Iron Range, Cape York Peninsula. Australian Mammalogy, 29 (2). pp. 169-176.

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Abstract

A population of the rufous spiny bandicoot Echymipera rufescens australis was studied for 14 months by live-trapping, and diets were determined by faecal analysis. The population had a high density (approximately 48 individuals on a trapping grid of 2.25 ha). A wide variety of foods were eaten, but fruits and seeds contributed the largest proportion of material to faeces, followed by invertebrates, fungi and dicot plants. Echymipera rufescens may potentially be a significant seed disperser for some plants, such as Pandanus zea. There was a short breeding season, with births occurring between December and March. Females produced one or two litters per year. Mean litter size was just under three, and litter size increased with the mother’s mass. Females produced a mean of 4.9 young per year. We conclude that although E. rufescens is a ‘typical’ bandicoot in that it is omnivorous and has high fecundity, it is more frugivorous and has a somewhat lower reproductive rate than other Australian bandicoots.

Item ID: 8281
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Peroryctinae, Peramelidae, bandicoot ecology, life history, breeding biology
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ISSN: 1836-7402
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2010 01:26
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%
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