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17 February 2010 Koala birth seasonality and sex ratios across multiple sites in Queensland, Australia
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Abstract

Establishing accurate demographic information for free-ranging populations of animals is difficult without knowledge of individual chronological age. We estimated the birth dates of 743 koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) joeys at 3 sites in Queensland, Australia, using body mass obtained from a reference population with known birth dates. From these age estimates we compared the annual distribution of births across calendar months. At all 3 locations about 60% of births occurred between December and March. The annual pattern of births was identical for males and females within locations, but overall annual patterns of births differed between the southern and northern sites. We conclude that koalas can bear offspring in every month of the year, but breed seasonally across Australia, and that a sex bias in the timing of births is absent from most regions.

William Ellis, Fred Bercovitch, Sean FitzGibbon, Alistair Melzer, Diedre De Villiers, and David Dique "Koala birth seasonality and sex ratios across multiple sites in Queensland, Australia," Journal of Mammalogy 91(1), 177-182, (17 February 2010). https://doi.org/10.1644/08-MAMM-A-358R.1.
Received: 21 November 2008; Accepted: 5 July 2009; Published: 17 February 2010
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