Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian Journal of Zoology is an international journal covering the evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology of Australasian fauna. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Paul Cooper


Current Issue

Australian Journal of Zoology

Volume 64 Number 5 2016

ZO16052A plethora of planigales: genetic variability and cryptic species in a genus of dasyurid marsupials from northern Australia

Michael Westerman, Mark J. Blacket, Ashley Hintz, Kyle Armstrong, Patricia A. Woolley and Carey Krajewski
pp. 303-311
Graphical Abstract Image

Species recognition underpins all attempts to describe and conserve biodiversity. We used DNA, morphological and geographical data to clarify species boundaries and relationships in Planigale, a poorly studied group of small-bodied Australasian marsupials. Our results provide strong evidence for new planigale species and the partitioning of widespread taxa into geographically distinct evolutionary units.
Photo by G. Mifsud.

Forest birds in the Blue Mountains in the 1980s were found to be relatively little affected by fire regime variation. Stronger influences on bird abundance and diversity were tree height, rainforest vegetation and nectar-rich flowers. However, increasing fire severity, extent and frequency from climate change is an evolving threat.

ZO16078Habitat selection by two sympatric rodent species in an alpine resort

Lisa V. Beilharz and Desley A. Whisson
pp. 327-334
Graphical Abstract Image

We examined habitat selection by two rodent species in an alpine resort in Victoria. The broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus) and the bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) both selected for small woodland fragments within ski runs. Such fragments may provide important habitat and connectivity between larger habitat patches.
Photo by Desley Whisson.

ZO16061Life-history characteristics of the yakka skink, Egernia rugosa, indicate long-term social structure

Stephen Peck, Michael G. Gardner, Jennifer M. Seddon and Greg Baxter
pp. 335-343
Graphical Abstract Image

We studied the life-history characteristics of the poorly known yakka skink, Egernia rugosa. Our findings suggest that these skinks form stable family units. Understanding which species exhibit group living and what life-history characteristics may be important for the maintenance and evolution of group living underpins our understanding of squamate reptile social behaviour.
Photo by Jon-Paul Emery.

Graphical Abstract Image

Extended maternal care seems to be pre-conditional for the evolution of group-living in spiders, but it is poorly understood why care is exerted beyond the offspring’s potential independence. We investigated maternal care in Xysticus bimaculatus, and demonstrated crucial benefits for nutritionally independent offspring, mediated by extensive maternal provisioning and prey-sharing between siblings.
Photo by Marlis Dumke.

ZO16057Stable isotope ecology of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

L. R. G. DeSantis and C. Hedberg
pp. 353-359
Graphical Abstract Image

Koalas are model organisms for assessing past climate change via stable isotopes in tooth enamel, due to their restricted diet and limited drinking behaviour. Significant negative relationships between oxygen isotope values and both relative humidity and mean annual precipitation demonstrate their utility for assessing relative aridity today, and through time.
Photo by Larisa R. G. DeSantis.

ZO16047Evidence of male-biased dispersal in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus)

Brett A. Coghlan, Jennifer M. Seddon, Emily C. Best, Vicki A. Thomson and Anne W. Goldizen
pp. 360-369
Graphical Abstract Image

Eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) are a large, iconic macropod inhabiting eastern Australia. Microsatellite and mtDNA evidence collected from two populations in Queensland is presented here and lends support to male-biased dispersal in this species. This study demonstrates the importance of using multiple genetic markers to test for sex-biased dispersal.
Photo by Clementine Menz.

Graphical Abstract Image

The effect of environmental flows (e-flows) on turtles remains largely unstudied. We opportunistically examined the effects of e-flows on eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) condition and abundance during drought. Our results provide preliminary evidence that e-flows may improve the condition of turtles occupying ephemeral floodplain habitats.
Photo by Gavin Currie.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Graphical Abstract Image

The severe impact of two fires, six years apart, on a population of honey possums (Tarsipes rostratus) was monitored over a 29-year period in the south-west of Western Australia. Full recovery to pre-fire densities and catchability was estimated to take 25.6 years after the second fire.
Photo by Don Bradshaw.

Published online 13 April 2017

ZO16077Isolation and characterisation of 16 novel polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

Tianshu Lv, Wanchao Zhu, Shuyu Xue, Huanxin Zhang, Xiaodong Gao, Lidong Wang and Honghai Zhang
Graphical Abstract Image

The habitat of the Eurasian coot (Fulica atra) extends from Eurasia to Australia. In this study, 16 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers were isolated and characterised for F. atra. These markers will be useful for developing a conservation strategy for F. atra.
Photo by Dong Xianfa.

Published online 05 April 2017

ZO16088Olfactory behavioural responses in captive male southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) exposed to oestrous and non-oestrous urine samples

Alyce M. Swinbourne, Stephen D. Johnston, Tina Janssen, Allan Lisle, Tamara Keeley and Clive J. C. Phillips
Graphical Abstract Image

Six captive male southern hairy-nosed wombats were exposed to oestrous and non-oestrous urine to determine if males can identify oestrus in captive females. Males did not demonstrate preference to either urine sample, suggesting that olfactory behaviour may not be an effective method of oestrus detection.
Photo by Alyce Swinbourne.

Published online 05 April 2017

ZO17002Population monitoring of a threatened gliding mammal in subtropical Australia

Ross L. Goldingay, Darren McHugh and Jonathan L. Parkyn

This study describes an approach for long-term monitoring of the yellow-bellied glider using repeat surveys to account for imperfect detection and abundance modelling to produce indices of abundance. Abundance estimates were remarkably constant across three years. Studies at other locations are needed to understand the population dynamics of this species.

Published online 03 April 2017

ZO16081Population genetics of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland

S. Dennison, G. J. Frankham, L. E. Neaves, C. Flanagan, S. FitzGibbon, M. D. B. Eldridge and R. N. Johnson
Graphical Abstract Image

Northern koala populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. We use 14 novel microsatellites to investigate genetic connectivity of nationally significant koala populations in north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. Our results suggest koalas in this region are experiencing contemporary impediments to gene flow, highlighting the importance of maintaining habitat connectivity.
Photo by Amber Gillett.

Graphical Abstract Image

Litoria nannotis is an endangered frog from the wet tropics region in north Queensland that has suffered significant population declines. We used 454-shotgun sequencing to develop microsatellite loci. These will be useful in understanding the genetic variation and connectivity amongst populations of this species recovering from mass population declines.
Photo by Robert Puschendorf.

Published online 20 March 2017

ZO16082Wildlife in the line of fire: evaluating the stress physiology of a critically endangered Australian marsupial after bushfire

Stephanie Hing, Krista L. Jones, Christine Rafferty, R. C. Andrew Thompson, Edward J. Narayan and Stephanie S. Godfrey
Graphical Abstract Image

Encountering bushfires may be stressful for wildlife. We investigated the impact of bushfire on the stress physiology of the woylie (brush-tailed bettong, Bettongia penicillata) a critically endangered Australian marsupial and assessed whether fitness indices (body condition and parasite load) influenced stress physiology before and after the fire.
Photo by Stephanie Hing.

Published online 15 March 2017

ZO16073Genetic structure and diversity of the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta) across its current range

Lei Stanley Tang, Carolyn Smith-Keune, Anthony C. Grice, James M. Moloney and Britta Denise Hardesty
Graphical Abstract Image

The genetic diversity of the threatened black-throated finch was examined and found to be moderate, and genetic exchange occurred among sampled populations despite recent population declines. Conservation management should focus on increasing habitat quality and connectivity.
Photo by L. S. Tang.

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