Ground dwelling birds face new threat from reintroduced marsupials November 3, 2017 Reintroduction danger: releasing endangered marsupials can cause a cascade of threats. Credit John Lawson. A new study has found evidence that Australian native marsupials re-introduced in south-west Australia may take eggs from the nests of ground-dwelling birds. Murdoch University adjunct researcher Graham Fulton focused on the ground-nesting and dwelling birds in Dryandra, south-east of Perth. Mr Fulton said ground-dwelling birds had generally declined at a greater rate than other Australian bird groups, with predation of eggs suggested as an important factor. “We do not yet know enough about the predatory risks for ground-nesting birds,” he said. “Marsupials are not generally regarded as potential nest-predators of these birds, because these animals are too rare to fully understand their biology.” Mr Fulton developed artiﬁcial nests modelled on that of the threatened Painted Button-quail and recorded any predator interest. “Approximately one-third of the eggs were taken by two bettong species (the Boodie and the Woylie) and another third by Brushtail Possums,” he said. Mr Fulton also recorded bettongs consuming vertebrate items including live prey, highlighting that they are more carnivorous than previously thought. “I worked in a region where foxes and cats have been poisoned since the 1980s so I had the opportunity to watch rare mammal behaviour,” Mr Fulton said. “Bettongs have largely disappeared from mainland Australia. The Boodie was extinct from the mainland, existing only on an off-shore island, but was re-introduced during my study. “My work demonstrates a need to better understand the biology of rare marsupials before re-introduction.” Fulton suggested more research was required on the impacts of reintroductions to avoid deleterious effects on resident species. The study was published in the Australian Journal of Zoology. Print This Post Media contact: Pepita Smyth Tel: (08) 9360 1289 | Mobile: 0417 171 551 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Research, Schools, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Research Tags: australian journal of zoology, endangered wildlife, graham fulton, woylie Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!