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The use of hollows and dreys by the common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) in different vegetation types

MacGregor, Chris; Welsh, Alan; Donnelly, Christine; Brown, Darren; Lindenmayer, David B

Description

Tree hollows are a key habitat component for a large number of Australian vertebrates and understanding how these resources are used is critical for developing successful management and conservation strategies for particular species or sets of species. Some hollow-using vertebrates are capable of using other kinds of nest sites. The common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) is one of these species and it is known to use tree hollows and also to construct nests (dreys) made from sticks...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMacGregor, Chris
dc.contributor.authorWelsh, Alan
dc.contributor.authorDonnelly, Christine
dc.contributor.authorBrown, Darren
dc.contributor.authorLindenmayer, David B
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:45:45Z
dc.identifier.issn0004-959X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/37855
dc.description.abstractTree hollows are a key habitat component for a large number of Australian vertebrates and understanding how these resources are used is critical for developing successful management and conservation strategies for particular species or sets of species. Some hollow-using vertebrates are capable of using other kinds of nest sites. The common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) is one of these species and it is known to use tree hollows and also to construct nests (dreys) made from sticks and leaves. Nest site selection by P. peregrinus may be a function of hollow availability. This proposition and several related questions were tested in a radio-tracking study that examined patterns of tree hollow and drey use by P. peregrinus in a range of vegetation types in Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay Territory. In addition, this study explored whether hollow and drey use was influenced by a wildfire that occurred in the study region in late 2003. It was found that use of hollows or dreys appeared to be a function of the availability of these resources. Most individuals were either primarily hollow users or primarily drey users. These patterns conformed to differences we recorded in hollow abundance between vegetation types: drey use was most pronounced in shrubland where hollows were rare and hollow use was most prevalent in forest where hollows were abundant. We found no evidence to suggest that hollow or drey use was influenced by fire. There was a trend pattern in our data suggesting that home-range size of P. peregrinus was larger in burnt versus unburnt sites but this effect was not statistically significant. Evidence was found that P. peregrinus selected particular kinds of trees as nest sites. Hollows in dead trees were more often used than those in living trees. Smaller dreys were most likely to be used. Several kinds of nest-selection effects that were contrary to the findings of studies of other arboreal marsupials were identified. These included more frequent use of smaller diameter trees with fewer cavities. The reasons for these unexpected results remain unclear. Findings such as those quantifying gender differences in the frequency of drey use, as well as marked between-vegetation-type differences in nest-type selection, indicate that nest use and nesting behaviour in P. peregrinus may be more complex than previously recognised. These findings also indicate that a deep understanding of the nesting biology of a species may require careful studies of both sexes, across a range of environments, and where disturbances have and have not occurred.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCSIRO Publishing
dc.sourceAustralian Journal of Zoology
dc.subjectdisturbance
dc.subjecthome range
dc.subjectmarsupial
dc.subjectnest site
dc.subjectnesting behavior
dc.subjectresource use
dc.subjectshrubland
dc.subjectsite selection
dc.subjectspecies conservation
dc.subjecttracking
dc.subjectwildfire
dc.subjectAustralasia
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectBooderee National Park
dc.subjectNew South Wales
dc.subjectBassariscus astutus
dc.subjectMetatheria
dc.subjectPseudoche
dc.titleThe use of hollows and dreys by the common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) in different vegetation types
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume56
dc.date.issued2008
local.identifier.absfor050211 - Wildlife and Habitat Management
local.identifier.absfor050104 - Landscape Ecology
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationU4279067xPUB154
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationLindenmayer, David, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMacGregor, Chris, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationWelsh, Alan, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationDonnelly, Christine, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationBrown, Darren, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage11
local.identifier.doi10.1071/ZO08054
dc.date.updated2015-12-08T10:54:31Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-49949093108
local.identifier.thomsonID000258401300001
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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