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Foraging behaviour of the endangered Australian skink (Liopholis slateri)

McKinney, Megan A., Schlesinger, Christine A. and Pavey, Chris R. (2014). Foraging behaviour of the endangered Australian skink (Liopholis slateri). Australian Journal of Zoology,62(6):477-482.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB156
Title Foraging behaviour of the endangered Australian skink (Liopholis slateri)
Author McKinney, Megan A.
Schlesinger, Christine A.
Pavey, Chris R.
Journal Name Australian Journal of Zoology
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 62
Issue Number 6
ISSN 0004-959X   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
eISSN 1446-5698
Start Page 477
End Page 482
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract The foraging behaviour of the endangered Australian skink (Liopholis slateri) was investigated through detailed observation of a subpopulation of lizards during seven months of sampling. Slater’s skinks primarily exhibited ambush predation, darting from burrow entrances to distances of up to 4 m with a success rate of ~70%. The direction of darting was often straight ahead and almost always in an 180° arc in front of the burrow entrance. Juveniles foraged more frequently and further from burrows than adults. Ants were the most common prey item taken and juveniles targeted small ants as prey more often than adults and often moved further to capture these prey. The spread of introduced buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) in central Australia in recent decades is a possible contributing factor to the decline of L. slateri. A wide field of view appears to be critical for the success of the sit-and-wait foraging strategy employed by the skinks and additional research is required to determine whether further encroachment of buffel grass around burrow systems will impede visibility and directly affect foraging behaviour of these skinks.
Keywords Age-specific
Buffel grass
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Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 12:27:02 CST