Multiscale patterns of habitat use by the Carpentarian rock-rat (Zyzomys palatalis) and the common rock-rat (Z. argurus)

Colin Trainor, Alaric Fisher, John Woinarski, Sue ChurchillC

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    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study examined the habitat requirements of the rare Carpentarian rock-rat (Z. palatalis) and those of the sympatric common rock-rat (Z. argurus). The environmental attributes of 15 study sites, 175 0.1-ha survey quadrats (within 21 sites) and 400 trap cells were summarised by classification and ordination analyses. Whereas Z. arguruswas common and widespread throughout much of the environmental variation of sites, quadrats and trap cells, Z. palataliswas recorded from only 4 of 21 sites and 22 of the 175 quadrats. At the three scales examined, Z. palatalisresponded strongly to a rockiness gradient, being restricted to the largest, most rugged gorge refuges, and locally was associated with scree piles and rocky slopes vegetated with dry monsoon rainforest and broadleaf woodlands. The richness of all plant species, rainforest plant species, plants bearing dietary items for Zyzomysspp., and shelter were shown to decline with decreasing rockiness and increasing disturbance by fire and cattle. The limited extent of suitable habitat at each of the four known Z. palatalissites (c.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)319–332
    Number of pages14
    JournalWildlife Research
    Volume27
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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