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Tuesday, May 24 • 16:30 - 17:00
Cross-fostering in the critically endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata)

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Cross-fostering in macropods was first described 50 years ago and is now being used as a conservation tool for the critically endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby. Advantage is taken of the BTRW’s diapause joey, resulting from a mating within 24 hours of birth and then activation of a 28 day pregnancy, when suckling ceases. Pouch young are removed at 14 – 28 days of age from the conscious donor while the surrogate yellow-footed rock-wallaby is being anaesthetised and her similar aged pouch young is being euthanased. The same teat must be used for the cross-foster and is guided into the donor pouch young mouth using fine forceps. The BTRW young stays in the pouch for about the same time as the surrogate’s natural young. There appear to be no adverse behavioural traits in the cross-fostered young and they have successfully bred with their own species. Two out of three cross fosters result in young at foot but not all failures can be attributed to the procedure itself. This procedure has doubled the population growth rate of the species and has allowed a captive population to become established


Dr David Schultz

David Schultz graduated from Sydney University at the end of 1966 and was the first full time veterinarian at the Adelaide Zoo. It was a conservation ethic that drew him to the zoo initially in 1984 and he has been associated with the organisation and all its foibles ever since

Tuesday May 24, 2016 16:30 - 17:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre