Fossil mammals of Caladenia Cave, northern Swan Coastal Plain, south-western Australia

Kailah Thorn, Robin Roe, Alexander Baynes, Raymond Hart, Kenneth Lance, Duncan Merrilees, Jennifer Porter, Sandra Sofoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

– Quaternary palaeoecological research in Western Australia has been focussed primarily around Perth and the extreme south-west, with very little work conducted to the north between
29° and 32°S. Using fossil remains excavated in the 1970s from Caladenia Cave in the East Moore cave area of the northern Swan Coastal Plain, we sought evidence of compositional change in the
regional mammal fauna from the mid-Holocene to the present. Loss of Phascogale calura, Perameles bougainville and Lagorchestes hirsutus, species characteristic of semi-arid and arid regions, suggests an increase in rainfall from around 4700 cal. BP. A change to a smaller sieve mesh aperture in the deepest levels of the excavation caused differential recovery which constrained the extent to which ecological inferences could be made. This bias notwithstanding, the Caladenia Cave assemblage suggests major community changes did not characterise the late Holocene, indicating resilience to the impacts of environmental changes prior to European settlement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-236
JournalRecords of the Western Australian Museum
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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