The greater bilby Macrotis lagotis once occupied about 70% of the Australian mainland but is now restricted in occurrence to just 20% of its former range. It is classified as Extinct in New South Wales. We assessed the major components of the diet of a recently re-introduced population of bilbies at Scotia Sanctuary, in western New South Wales, from faecal material collected over a period of 13 months. Animals consumed more invertebrates than green plant material and seeds throughout the study, although there was temporal variation in the presence of these food categories. Five orders of invertebrates were identified, with Coleoptera (beetles) occurring in more than 80% of faecal samples and Isoptera (termites) and Formicidae (ants) in 48% and 40%, respectively. These results identify key components of the diet of the first population of bilbies in New South Wales since the early 20th century and, combined with detailed studies of habitat requirements and prey abundance, should assist with selection of additional sites to expand the distribution of this iconic species further in future.
The diet of the re-introduced greater bilby Macrotis lagotis in the mallee woodlands of western New South Wales
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Mangala Navnith, Graeme Finlayson, Mathew Crowther, Chris Dickman; The diet of the re-introduced greater bilby Macrotis lagotis in the mallee woodlands of western New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2009; 35 (1): 90–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2009.007
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