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New breeding technique to save wallabies and kangaroos


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It involves transferring joeys from the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby and the tammar wallaby into the pouches of common wallaby species.

Marsupial reproduction specialists hope the fostering technique will lead to a six-fold increase in breeding rates.

The University of Newcastle’s Professor John Rodger says taking the offspring means the endangered females are able to give birth again within 30 days.

“It’s one of the special features really that marsupial reproduction offers us in conservation,” he said.

“The equivalent of the embryo develops in the mother’s pouch.

“And so it’s possible, which you can’t do with an animal like us or a cow or a sheep, to actually take a little baby early in its development from one pouch and put it into another.

“It is developed by a colleague of ours in South Australia, Dr David Taggart.”

Professor Rodger hopes fostering saves the threatened species from extinction.

“And that means that the threatened species can breed again,” he said.

“In the best case scenario, up to eight babies a year, when normally the threatened species would only produce one.

“The real issues with this are to do with whether the animal which is growing up in the pouch of a different species will develop normal behaviour and so far the evidence is that they do.

“So they’re hard-wired to be whatever their own species is.”

Collected:

http://www.abc.net.au/

Posted by on Feb 27 2014. Filed under Biodiversity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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