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Denning behaviour of female spotted-tailed quolls during the breeding season

Denning behaviour of female spotted-tailed quolls during the breeding season We monitored some aspects of maternal care in Australias second largest extant marsupial predator, the spotted-tailed quoll. We radio-collared six females carrying young at an early pouch stage in the Byadbo Wilderness in southern New South Wales in AugustSeptember 2016. When these young were deposited at a maternity den at a still altricial state we monitored den activity of the female and her young with motion-triggered camera traps. Lactating females remained in the same den for up to 39 days before moving to a new den, usually only a few hundred metres away. Females furnished dens with nesting material, but were never observed to carry prey nor were the young seen consuming solid food. They were also surprisingly tolerant towards visits and den use by wombats, rabbits, possums and male quolls. Females showed predominantly nocturnal activity, but usually returned at least once per night. Short daytime activity was also common. In contrast, juveniles were initially exclusively diurnal, probably to facilitate behavioural thermoregulation, and only later extended their playing and exploring towards dawn and dusk. Hence interactions between mother and young were rarely observed. Apparently, the young received little training from their mother and simply ventured further and for longer periods away from the den until independence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Journal of Zoology CSIRO Publishing

Denning behaviour of female spotted-tailed quolls during the breeding season

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Publisher
CSIRO Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
0004-959X
eISSN
1446-5698
DOI
10.1071/ZO20012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We monitored some aspects of maternal care in Australias second largest extant marsupial predator, the spotted-tailed quoll. We radio-collared six females carrying young at an early pouch stage in the Byadbo Wilderness in southern New South Wales in AugustSeptember 2016. When these young were deposited at a maternity den at a still altricial state we monitored den activity of the female and her young with motion-triggered camera traps. Lactating females remained in the same den for up to 39 days before moving to a new den, usually only a few hundred metres away. Females furnished dens with nesting material, but were never observed to carry prey nor were the young seen consuming solid food. They were also surprisingly tolerant towards visits and den use by wombats, rabbits, possums and male quolls. Females showed predominantly nocturnal activity, but usually returned at least once per night. Short daytime activity was also common. In contrast, juveniles were initially exclusively diurnal, probably to facilitate behavioural thermoregulation, and only later extended their playing and exploring towards dawn and dusk. Hence interactions between mother and young were rarely observed. Apparently, the young received little training from their mother and simply ventured further and for longer periods away from the den until independence.

Journal

Australian Journal of ZoologyCSIRO Publishing

Published: Jul 17, 2020

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