Autecology of a new species of carnivorous marsupial, the endangered black-tailed dusky antechinus (Antechinus arktos), compared to a sympatric congener, the brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii)

Gray, Emma L., Baker, Andrew M., & Firn, Jennifer (2016) Autecology of a new species of carnivorous marsupial, the endangered black-tailed dusky antechinus (Antechinus arktos), compared to a sympatric congener, the brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii). Mammal Research. (In Press)

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Abstract

The carnivorous marsupial Antechinus are one of the few mammal genera known to exhibit the phenomenon of semelparous reproduction, where all males die at the end of a frenetic annual mating period. The genus Antechinus has recently been revised, seeing four new species named and one existing subspecies raised to species status. Here, we present the first ecological assessment of one new species, the endangered black-tailed dusky antechinus (Antechinus arktos), based on a 2-year mark-recapture study of two proximate sites within the cloud forest of Springbrook National Park, south-east Queensland, Australia. We also present comparative ecological data from a sympatric congener, Antechinus stuartii. In total, 103 A. arktos (49 male; 54 female) and 2125 A. stuartii (1229 male; 896 female) captures were made over 16,630 trap nights at the two sites. The occurrence and synchrony of reproductive events observed in A. arktos closely parallel the semelparous reproductive strategy exhibited by all congeners studied to date. The A. arktos populations mate during mid-September, with birth of up to six young occurring during mid-October. The low abundance and fecundity, together with a limited and apparently retracting distribution, suggest A. arktos is under threat of climate-induced extinction in the coming decades.

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ID Code: 96510
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Breeding biology, Conservation, Dasyuridae, Mark recapture, Population dynamics
DOI: 10.1007/s13364-016-0281-1
ISSN: 2199-241X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > ECOLOGY (060200) > Population Ecology (060207)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland
Deposited On: 03 Jul 2016 22:57
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2016 01:51

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