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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Predator swamping and supplementary feeding do not improve reintroduction success for a threatened Australian mammal, Bettongia lesueur

Published source details

Bannister H.L., Lynch C.E. & Moseby K.E. (2016) Predator swamping and supplementary feeding do not improve reintroduction success for a threatened Australian mammal, Bettongia lesueur. Australian Mammalogy, 38, 177–187


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in larger unrelated groups Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 2013 at a desert site in South Australia, Australia (Bannister et al. 2016) found that releasing translocated animals in a larger group, to swamp predator activities, did not promote population persistence of burrowing bettongs Bettongia lesueur. There was no significant difference in post-release persistence between a large release (bettongs last recorded 42 days after the final release) and three smaller releases (bettongs persisted 41–53 days after releases). A total of 1,492 bettongs were translocated between July and December 2013 and released into rabbit warrens. The large release was of 1,266 bettongs, released in July–October 2013 in a 250-ha unfenced area. Three smaller releases, of 48–56 bettongs, occurred in October 2013, at sites 4 km from the large release and from each other. Following no bettong records at two of these sites for ≥7 weeks, further releases of 29 and 39 animals were made in December 2013. From May–December 2003 feral cats Felis catus and foxes Vulpes vulpes were intensively controlled in a 500-km2 area by 428 hours of shooting patrols. Bettong persistence was monitored using track counts, camera trapping, warren monitoring and live-trapping.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 2013 at a desert site in South Australia, Australia (Bannister et al. 2016) found that supplementary feeding stations were visited by translocated burrowing bettongs Bettongia lesueur, but populations did not persist. At a large release area, bettongs were detected at 52–80% of track pads at feeders compared to 0–8% of track pads sited 200 m from feeders. No bettongs were detected >42 days after the final release. At three smaller release areas, bettongs persisted for 10 and 53 days at sites where supplementary food was provided and for two days at a site where it was not provided. Bettongs were translocated and released into rabbit warrens in July–December 2013. In one area 1,266 bettongs were released. Five smaller releases, of 29–56 bettongs, were made at three further sites, 4 km apart. Oats were provided at five stations in the large release area and three stations each at two smaller release areas. From May–December 2003 feral cats Felis catus and foxes Vulpes vulpes were intensively controlled in a 500-km2 area by 428 hours of shooting patrols. Bettong visitation at feeders was assessed using 10 track pads/feeder for three one-day periods, four days apart. Persistence was monitored using track counts, camera trapping, warren monitoring and live-trapping.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 2013 at a desert site in South Australia, Australia (Bannister et al. 2016) found that four translocated populations of burrowing bettongs Bettongia lesueur released after controlling invasive foxes Vulpes vulpes and cats Felis catus died out within four months. There was no significant difference in post-release survival for a large release (bettongs last recorded 42 days after the final release) and three smaller releases (bettongs persisted 41–53 days after releases). At the three smaller release areas, bettongs persisted for 53 days at the site where fewer predator tracks were recorded and for 2–10 days at two sites where more predator tracks were recorded. A total of 1,492 bettongs were translocated and released into rabbit warrens. At one 250-ha site, 1,266 bettongs were released in July–October 2013. In October– December 2013, five releases of 29–56 bettongs were made at three smaller sites, 4 km apart. From May–December 2003 feral cats Felis catus and foxes Vulpes vulpes were intensively controlled in a 500-km2 area by 428 hours of shooting patrols. Bettong survival was monitored using track counts, camera trapping, warren monitoring and live-trapping.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)