Partial seasonality of breeding in red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus banksianus

Authors

  • Karen Higginbottom,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia
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    • School of Environmental and Applied Science, Griffith University, PMB 50, Gold Coast Mail Centre, Qld 9726, Australia

  • Christopher N. Johnson

    1. Department of Zoology and Tropical Ecology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia
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All correspondence to: Karen Higginbottom. E-mail: k.higginbottom@mailbox.gu.edu.au

Abstract

Reproductive data on individually known free-ranging red-necked wallabies Macropus rufogriseus banksianus were obtained over a 6 year period. Although this subspecies is essentially a non-seasonal continuous breeder, more young wallabies emerged permanently from the pouch in spring than in any other season. This partial seasonality of breeding was the combined result of seasonal variation in duration of pouch lives, a tendency for the first young of females to emerge permanently in spring, and seasonal variation in the incidence of reproductive interruptions. It is proposed that the adaptive significance of this partial seasonality is that it maximizes juvenile survival while maintaining a high reproductive rate.

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