In Australia many critical weight range (CWR) species are threatened by predation from the introduced Red Fox Vulpes vulpes. Understanding how these prey species respond to native predators such as the Tiger Quoll Dasyurus maculatus, and comparing their responses to foxes is important in understanding why fox predation is such a problem. Many northern hemisphere mammalian species have developed responses to the odours of the main species which prey upon them. The situation in Australia remains unclear. We looked at the effect of scenting traps with the faeces of the Tiger Quoll and the Red Fox on the capture rates of four species of CWR marsupials, the Long-nosed Bandicoot Perameles nasuta, the Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesulus, the Northern Brown Bandicoot I. macrourus and the Common Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula. None of these species responded to fox odour. However despite low capture rates, Northern Brown Bandicoots and Common Brushtail Possums were captured significantly more often in traps scented with Tiger Quoll faeces. This indicates that these species may be responding to predator odours, but not with the traditionally expected avoidance. Reasons for why this may be so are discussed.
Responses of four Critical Weight Range (CWR) marsupials to the odours of native and introduced predators
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Benjamin Russell, Peter Banks; Responses of four Critical Weight Range (CWR) marsupials to the odours of native and introduced predators. Australian Zoologist 1 December 2005; 33 (2): 217–222. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2005.018
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