Burrow use and ranging behaviour of the southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) in the Murraylands, South Australia

Graeme Finlayson, Glenn Shimmin, Peter Temple-Smith, Kathrine Handasyde, David Taggart

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49 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated burrow use and ranging behaviour in the southern hairy-nosed wombat Lasiorhinus latifrons in semi-arid South Australia. Sixteen adult wombats were fitted with radio transmitters and monitored monthly from July 2001 to February 2002. Wombats generally used between one and five warrens, preferred large warrens with a greater number of entrances and showed a preference for one or two warrens. Across the study period there was no apparent change in burrows used within warrens. Radio-tracking indicated that animals spent very little time above ground (26 of 1115 night-time fixes), centred their activity around their preferred warrens, and moved, on average, 99 m/h and 221 m/night. Mean home-range size, estimated using minimum convex polygons and the harmonic mean method from location data, obtained through triangulation, and daytime warren fixes, ranged from 1.3 to 4.8 ha. Home-range size was similar between males and females and home ranges overlapped substantially. The data highlight the importance of burrows to southern hairy-nosed wombats in shaping their home ranges. It seems likely that the use of burrows and a specialized diet are important energy saving strategies for this species in such unpredictable regions of South Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189 - 200
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Zoology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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