Mammalian diet and broad hunting strategy of the dingo (Canis fimiliaris dingo) in the wet tropical rain forests of Northeastern Australia

The diet of dingoes (Canis familiaris dingo) in the Australian Wet Tropics was examined by analyzing 383 dingo scats collected throughout the region for the presence of mammal prey remains. The scats yielded 29 native and 4 introduced mammal prey species from 14 families. The most important species in terms of percentage occurrence in the scats were Melomys cervinipes (22.2%), Isoodon macrourus (17.0%), Perameles nasuta (12.5%), and Thylogale stigmatica (12.5%). The most important families were Muridae (37.1%), Peramelidae (29.5%), and Macropodidae (25.8%). Examination of small-scale habitat preferences revealed species that preferentially use the forest edge ranked significantly higher in the diet than those that do not, and species that are terrestrial ranked higher in the diet than those that are arboreal. Relative abundance was also a significant factor in the ranked dietary occurrence of each species, with abundant species ranked significantly higher than those that are less abundant. These results suggest that dingoes in the Australian Wet Tropics are opportunistic predators of a wide variety of mammal species, with abundant terrestrial and forest edge-dwelling taxa the most susceptible to predation.

Author Vernes, K., Dennis, A. and Winter, J.
Date null
Year 2001
Secondary title Biotropica
Volume 33
Number 2
Pages 339-345
Notes Notes
ISBN/ISSN 0006-3606
Region Australia - national