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The diet of the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 1. Site and seasonal influences and dietary overlap with the black-striped wallaby (Macropus dorsalis) and domestic cattle [central Queensland]

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Ellis, B.A.
Dawson, T.J. (New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). School of Biological Science)
Tierney, P.J. (Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, Emerald (Australia))

At a site in central Queensland, diets were assessed by identifying plant fragments in faeces. The diet of O. fraenata was diverse, consisting of herbaceous plants, grasses and browse. In good seasons the intake was biased towards forbs and other herbaceous plants. Browse was only important when vegetation availability was low. Grass could be a major part of the diet when forbs were scarce. Black-striped wallabies and cattle were largely grass eaters. When conditions were dry, browse contributed up to 16 percent of the diet of M. dorsalis and 10 percent of the diet of cattle. Dietary overlap with O. fraenata was greatest at such times, being about 50 percent for both species. Potential for dietary competition was apparent and it is suggested that this may have been a factor in the decline of O. fraenata with the advancement of European settlement and spread of domestic stock.

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