Oral presentation- Open Session 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Age-specific survival and fecundity of burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur) on Heirisson Prong, Western Australia (#465)

Christine Groom 1 , Jacqui Richards , Jeff Short 2 , Michael Calver 3
  1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. Wildlife Research and Management, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  3. Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Reproduction and survival was studied in a free-ranging population of burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur) at Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay Western Australia. A total of 189 pouch young were observed (93 male, 76 female, 20 unsexed). Age-specific survival indicated that males consistently showed a lower survival rate than females regardless of age and young at foot and sub-adults were at highest risk of mortality for both sexes. Pouch young and adult survival was high (77.8% and > 90% respectively). The age at which females gave birth to their first pouch young was estimated to be 215 days (± 10; n = 13) corresponding with sexual maturity at approximately 6.5 months of age. The average fecundity for adult females was 1.30 pouch young (± 0.07, n = 43) over six months which is below the theoretical potential of three pouch young annually.