Treby, Donna Louise (2007). SUPPLEMENTARY FEEDING AND HUSBANDRY REQUIRED FOR TRANSLOCATION OF THE NORTHERN HAIRY-NOSED WOMBAT (Lasiorhinus krefftii) MPhil Thesis, School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland.

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Author Treby, Donna Louise
School, Centre or Institute School of Animal Studies
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Dr Peter Murray
Subjects 300404 Animal Husbandry
Abstract/Summary The northern hairy-nosed wombat, Lasiorhinus krefftii, is listed as critically endangered and is restricted to a single population of approximately 90 animals in Epping Forest National Park (Scientific), in the central Queensland highlands. Epping Forest National Park has low rainfall and is regularly subjected to periods of drought and therefore is at risk from wildfire (Horsup 2004). A long term management goal of the northern hairy-nosed wombat recovery program has been to establish additional water sources, and to determine a range of supplementary feeds that the northern hairy-nosed wombat (NHW) will consume to minimise any negative environmental effects on the population. This study investigated the potential of providing supplementary feed and water to the NHW. The data collected have shown that the NHW will readily accept a supplementary diet. In addition, it has displayed preferences for certain feed types and will visit new sources of feed and water on a nightly basis. Rainfall was the only environmental factor found to have a significant impact on wombat activity at supplementary feed and water sites. Two macropod exclusion devices were also trialled in an attempt to reduce competition for supplementary feed and water from eastern grey kangaroos Macropus giganteus, and swamp wallabies Wallabia bicolor. One was a mesh roof over a water trough and the other a wooden box over a feed trough. Both were monitored by remote video cameras. The mesh roof was gradually lowered over time to allow the NHW to become accustomed to its presence. The roof was a success in that large eastern grey kangaroos could not gain access to water at a roof height of 27 cm. However, the NHW could still access water at this height. The wooden box was successful in that eastern grey kangaroos could not gain access to feed troughs. However, swamp wallabies could still enter boxes. The NHW ignored the box at one supplementary feed site, but entered the box at a different site. The first expected in-situ translocation of the NHW is scheduled to take place in 2007. During the translocation, the NHW may be held temporarily in a captive environment. There are currently no NHWs in captivity therefore there is no knowledge base to draw information from on the captive requirements of this species. The southern hairy-nosed wombat (SHW) and common wombat (CW) are currently held within a number of zoological institutions. The SHW is closely related to the NHW, and is often researched as an analogue species. A study of the current captive management and breeding programs of the SHW and CW within zoological institutions around Australia was undertaken, with particular emphasis on the SHW. This research has resulted in the compilation of a 'Wombat Husbandry Manual', to assist with the translocation and future captive life of the northern hairy-nosed wombat.

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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 16:15:05 EST