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The diet of the brush-tailed rabbit-rat (Conilurus penicillatus) from the monsoonal tropics of the Northern Territory, Australia

Firth, R, Jefferys, E, Woinarski, J and Noske, R (2005). The diet of the brush-tailed rabbit-rat (Conilurus penicillatus) from the monsoonal tropics of the Northern Territory, Australia. Wildlife Research,32(6):517-523.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title The diet of the brush-tailed rabbit-rat (Conilurus penicillatus) from the monsoonal tropics of the Northern Territory, Australia
Author Firth, R
Jefferys, E
Woinarski, J
Noske, R
Journal Name Wildlife Research
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 32
Issue Number 6
ISSN 1035-3712   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-32444441710
Start Page 517
End Page 523
Total Pages 7
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Field of Research 0608 - Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The diet of the brush-tailed rabbit-rat ( Conilurus penicillatus) was assessed by microscopic analysis of faecal samples from 35 individuals collected from three different sites in the Northern Territory (Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg Peninsula), Kakadu National Park and Melville Island) at various times of the year during 2000 - 02. Seed was the most abundant item in the overall diet of C. penicillatus, making up 68% of identifiable particles, with smaller proportions contributed by leaves (21%), plant stems (8%) and insects (2%). ANOSIM tests revealed no difference in diet between the sexes and seasons, but there was a significant difference in the diet between the sites, with seed material present in 74% of the samples from Cobourg and in 62% and 58% of samples from Kakadu and Melville respectively. Leaf matter was present in 19% of samples from Cobourg and in 26% and 24% of samples from Kakadu and Melville respectively. Stem material was present in only 6% of samples from Cobourg and in 8% and 13% of samples from Kakadu and Melville respectively. Insect matter was present in small quantities across all three sites. The high proportion of seed in the diet suggests that C. penicillatus is primarily granivorous.
Keywords mouse pseudomys-gracilicaudatus
new-south-wales
desert rodents
small mammals
habitat preference
western-australia
rock-rat
muridae
lutreolus
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR04127   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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