Mammalian diet and broad hunting strategy of the dingo (Canis familiaris dingo) in the wet tropical rain forests of Northeastern Australia

Vernes, Karl, Dennis, Andrew, and Winter, John (2001) Mammalian diet and broad hunting strategy of the dingo (Canis familiaris dingo) in the wet tropical rain forests of Northeastern Australia. Biotropica, 33 (2). pp. 339-345.

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Abstract

The diet of dingoes (Canis familiaris dingo) in the Australian Wet Tropics was examined by analyzing 383 dingo scats collected throughout the region for the presence of mammal prey remains. The scats yielded 29 native and 4 introduced mammal prey species from 14 families. The most important species in terms of percentage occurrence in the scats were Melomys cervinipes (22.2%), hoodon macrourus (17.0%), Perameles nasuta (12.5%), and Thylogale stigmatica (12.5%). The most important families were Muridae (37.1%), Peramelidae (29.5%), and Macropodidae (25.8%). Examination of small-scale habitat preferences revealed species that preferentially use the forest edge ranked significantly higher in the diet than those that do not, and species that are terrestrial ranked higher in the diet than those that are arboreal. Relative abundance was also a significant factor in the ranked dietary occurrence of each species, with abundant species ranked significantly higher than those that are less abundant. These results suggest that dingoes in the Australian Wet Tropics are opportunistic predators of a wide variety of mammal species, with abundant terrestrial and forest edge-dwelling taxa the most susceptible to predation.

Item ID: 13131
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1744-7429
Keywords: Australia; dingo; hunting strategy; predator diet; prey preferences; tropical rainforest
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2013 02:24
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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