[Truncated abstract] Populations of native wildlife can become overabundant for various reasons, resulting in detrimental impacts on the local environment and the many species it supports. The black-flanked rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis lateralis) was threatened with extinction, but due to predator control, some populations have since increased to the point where they are considered overabundant. Hormonally-induced fertility control is increasingly being used to manage population size in these situations, where other management options are not viable. This thesis explores the potential of fertility control for managing the size of isolated, black-flanked rock-wallaby populations. To assess the potential of fertility control as a management tool I needed to determine whether it is effective, whether there are adverse impacts, and how to apply the control. These questions needed to be answered both at an individual animal and population level. To begin, a solid understanding of the species biology and population dynamics was necessary to provide a baseline from which to measure. Then, to answer my questions, I: a) examined the efficacy of the fertility control on individual rock-wallabies, whether adverse side-effects were present, and considered how best to apply the control to individuals; b) determined whether fertility control could effect a reduction in population size; and c) examined the spatial genetic population structure to apply fertility control without losing genetic variation. The body condition of black-flanked rock-wallabies varied significantly over time but fluctuated similarly for both sexes.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2012|