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Macropod Management: Maria Island National Park. Annual Report 2016
The recommendation for 2016 has been determined by: the continuing decline in the Forester kangaroo population; a request from the Save the Tasmanian Devil Team to quarantine the Tasmanian pademelon as a primary source of prey; and, the increasing predation on Bennetts wallaby since 2014 as indicated by devil scat surveys. There are also a high number of adult Tasmanian devils on Maria Island, estimated to have exceeded the upper limit of the predicted carrying capacity (prior to a recent trapping and removal event in May 2016).
Population monitoring does indicate a lower population trend estimate for all four marsupial herbivores, which may be a result of increased predation and the presence of a high number of adult Tasmanian devils, but this hypothesis cannot be confirmed due to estimates not being comparable between years. However, the results of biological monitoring do indicate high parasite loads and high levels of anaemia which are indications of nutritional stress. An increasing population trend for the common wombat, the other introduced primary grazer on the island, limits any potential for reduced grazing pressure by continuing to cull macropods on Maria Island National Park. Predictions for this year’s La Niña weather outlook indicate an equal probability of either drier or wetter conditions in Tasmania during 2016.
Commissioning bodyParks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania
Department/SchoolSchool of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
PublisherParks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania
Place of publicationHobart, Australia