Improving the anti-predator behaviour of a threatened Australian marsupial  

Determine the impact of native predators on behavioural traits of the Western Barred Bandicoot

 

Synopsis

Introduced predators have caused population declines and extinction of many Australian marsupial species. Finding ways to improve survival and build anti-predator behaviours is essential to increase and maintain sustainable populations. This project will determine if exposure of wild bandicoots to native predators (western quoll) improves their anti-predator behaviour. Prior exposure to predators may improve reintroduction success into the wild. The research will be conducted at the Arid Recovery Reserve in northern South Australia where different fenced paddocks maintain populations of wild bandicoots with and without predators.

Aims

The project aims to compare the differences in behaviour or physical traits of western barred bandicoots populations in predator-free and predator (quoll) exposed environments.

Student Benefits

Students will the opportunity to be involved in real world applications of conservation and the prevention of species extinctions. The project will enable students to:

  • Design and carry out experiments
  • Conduct fieldwork including animal handling, trapping, observational studies and camera trapping
  • Contribute to the publication of a scientific paper

Supervisors: Dr Katherine Moseby and Dr Leanne Van der Weyde