Maternal care and infant behaviour of the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata)

Fisher, D. O. and Goldizen, A. W. (2001) Maternal care and infant behaviour of the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata). Journal of Zoology, 255 3: 321-330. doi:10.1017/S095283690100142X

Author Fisher, D. O.
Goldizen, A. W.
Title Maternal care and infant behaviour of the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata)
Journal name Journal of Zoology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0952-8369
Publication date 2001-01-01
Year available 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S095283690100142X
Open Access Status
Volume 255
Issue 3
Start page 321
End page 330
Total pages 10
Editor J. Clutton-Brock
I. Boyd et al.
Place of publication Port Chester
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
270707 Sociobiology and Behavioural Ecology
780105 Biological sciences
06 Biological Sciences
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Abstract Bridled nailtail wallabies Onychogalea fraenata are endangered, medium-sized, nocturnal macropodids that persist at only one location in central Queensland, Australia. Characteristics of juvenile development, shelter use, anti-predator behaviour and maternal care were investigated in the wild using trapping, radio-tracking and spotlighting observations., Timing of developmental stages was identical to the pattern previously found in captivity, except for age at weaning which was much earlier in the wild. After young had left the pouch permanently at 17 weeks of age and weighing c. 800 g, they always spent the day concealed in dense cover, generally > 200 m from their mothers. Juveniles were also alone in > 50% of observations at night, and stayed closer to cover than did adult females. Young became independent of their mothers 7-8 weeks after permanent exit from the pouch and weighing c. 1800 g. Females with dependent juveniles changed their behaviour in ways likely to reduce predation on young. They reduced their home ranges, stayed closer to cover and became more wary than other females. Juveniles differed from adult females in their habitat use, anti-predator behaviour and shelter site preferences. Juveniles were more likely than adults to respond to threats by standing still or lying flat on the ground, whether or not they were in concealing cover. Juveniles used a wider range of smaller shelters than adults, and were less likely to use solid shelters such as hollow logs during the day. Because bridled nailtail wallabies have a 'hider' strategy of maternal care and the young rely on crypsis, successful breeding in the wild requires dense vegetation cover.
Keyword Zoology
Onychogalea Fraenata
Anti-predator Behaviour
Shelter Use
Juvenile Behaviour
White-tailed Deer
Habitat Use
Antipredator Strategies
Thomson Gazelles
Pronghorn Fawns
Bighorn Sheep
Hidden Fawns
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 02:27:42 EST