Oral presentation- Open Session 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Flexible home ranges in the agile wallaby. A bigger house only when needed. (#445)

Miguel Bedoya-Pérez 1 2 , Clive McMahon 3
  1. RIEL, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
  2. The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  3. Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia

Despite the widespread distribution and common nature of agile wallabies, the ecology of this species remains poorly known. Only a handful of studies have explored this species' habits. The only comprehensive studies comprised their biology and reproduction in captivity, and a handful of studies concerning their diet and behaviour under very specific conditions. Here we shed some light into the species' home range, one of the most basic ecological characters of this species that, until now, was barely explored. We fitted 30 agile wallabies (15 males and 15 females) with VHF collars, in pastoral land under two different production managements (pastures under no irrigation and under irrigation). We used triangulation towers to estimate the position of each individual at 4 tracking sessions (sunrise, midday, sunset and midnight), across 4 sampling periods of 10 days, from June to August 2016. We found significantly larger home-ranges than previously reported during the dry season (31.8 ha vs 15.3 ha for females and 30.2 ha vs 24.6 ha for males), and we found no significant differences between the sexes. The only difference detected was dependent on the type of habitat the individual inhabited, with wallabies in non-irrigated pastures having home ranges twice as large as wallabies in irrigated areas (43.2 ha vs 18.8 ha). This suggests a high level of flexibility for this species that is potentially dependent on the constrains imposed by the responses available.