Death after Sex in the Australian Bush: Determinants of survival and reproduction in males of the world's largest semelparous mammal

Heiniger, J., Van Uitregt, V. and Wilson, Robbie (2012). Death after Sex in the Australian Bush: Determinants of survival and reproduction in males of the world's largest semelparous mammal. In: SICB 2012 Annual Meeting Abstracts. Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative-Biology (SICB), Charleston, SC, United States, (E260-E260). 3-7 January 2012. doi:10.1093/icb/ics079


Author Heiniger, J.
Van Uitregt, V.
Wilson, Robbie
Title of paper Death after Sex in the Australian Bush: Determinants of survival and reproduction in males of the world's largest semelparous mammal
Conference name Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative-Biology (SICB)
Conference location Charleston, SC, United States
Conference dates 3-7 January 2012
Proceedings title SICB 2012 Annual Meeting Abstracts   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Integrative and Comparative Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Poster
DOI 10.1093/icb/ics079
ISSN 1540-7063
1557-7023
Volume 52
Issue suppl
Start page E260
End page E260
Total pages 1
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) is a medium-sized
(approx. 1 kg) predatory marsupial previously common across
the entire top-end of Australia. This species is the largest
known semelparous mammal in the world, which means mating
is highly synchronous, males live for only one year, and males
undergo total die-offs soon after the mating season. Such
population-wide male die-offs are presumably due to the
physiological stress of procuring copulations and the intense
fighting among males. A small proportion of females will
survive to produce a second litter, but there are no documented
cases of survival to a third breeding season. The young are born
after a short gestation period and then carried in a rudimentary
pouch for approximately 60-70 days. Females will then leave
young in dens while they forage, returning to suckle until young
are independent at 4 – 5 months. Both sexes are solitary
throughout the year with a home range averaging 35 ha for
females and approximately 100 ha for males during the
breeding season but varies greatly between individuals. During
out study, we will be investigating the morphological and
performance determinants of both survival to reproductive-age
and fecundity among males of this species on Groote Eylandt,
an Indigenous-managed island off the coast of the Northern
Territory. Northern quolls are still highly abundant on this
island and this population offers a unique opportunity to
understand the evolution of this extreme mating system and the
role physical performance plays in the reproductive success of
males.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes P3.128

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