Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


School of Natural Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dr Alan Needham

Second Supervisor

Dr Keith Morris

Third Supervisor

Brent Johnson


Broad scale fox baiting programs have been underway in Western Australia since 1996 when the Western Shield fauna recovery program commenced with the aim of recovering many fauna species that are under threat of extinction. Until recently, effective fox control for fauna recovery has been achieved with dried meat baits impregnated with the poison 1080. The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) has developed more readily available and cost effective sausage meat baits, termed Probait. As bait acceptability trials in the laboratory indicated a potential risk from Pro bait ingestion by chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii), assessment of the likely risk of operational use of Pro bait was undertaken. The species showed the capability of locating and consuming Probait in the presence of natural resources within the Julimar Conservation Park study area. A total of 59% of the '- individuals sampled displayed bait ingestion through fluorescent banding of their facial whiskers. The consumption of Probait by chuditch did not appear to negatively impact the population. The results from the relative abundance, sex ratio, age structure and dispersal patterns appeared to be normal in comparison with some previous yearly results. The general ecology of chuditch populations in Jarrah forest communities has not been examined in detail since before broad scale fox baiting programs. Updated information on the general ecology of the chuditch is essential to ensuring the ongoing success of the recovery program. The diurnal refuge utilisation and requirements for chuditch displayed little change from previous studies with the exception of refuge type selection. Core activity areas were defined for 15 radio-collared animals. These were consistent with previous studies, with males displaying larger core areas then females.