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  Ecology, Management and Conservation in Natural and Modified Habitats
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Wildlife Research covers all major aspects of the ecology, management and conservation of wild animals in natural and modified habitats. More

Editors: Stan Boutin, Andrea Taylor and Piran White


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Published online 11 September 2014
Interactions between the superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) and fire in south-eastern Australia 
Daniel T. Nugent, Steven W. J. Leonard and Michael F. Clarke

Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) foraging is likely to affect Eucalyptus forest vegetation and fuel loads and hence fire behaviour. In turn, fire is likely to reduce the abundance and influence the distribution of lyrebirds. We found lyrebird foraging was concentrated in unburnt forest patches, where they reduced litter fuel loads by 25%. Alternative stable states may emerge in forests as a result of feedback mechanisms among lyrebirds, vegetation and fuel accumulation, with implications for conservation and fire management.

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Published online 04 September 2014
Use by small mammals of a chronosequence of tropical rainforest revegetation 
Tegan Whitehead, Miriam Goosem and Noel D. Preece

Reforesting fragmented landscapes through ecological restoration enhances conservation of tropical rainforest small mammals. Small-mammal use of tropical rainforest restoration can increase species persistence within the landscape. By assessing small-mammal community composition within revegetated habitats, we determined that the small-mammal community progressed towards that of a rainforest as habitat aged, becoming similar to rainforest 16-years after planting. Commencing revegetation without delay is vital to prevent further population declines and maximise the conservation of small rainforest mammals. Photograph by Tegan Whitehead.

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Published online 26 August 2014
Lessons from long-term predator control: a case study with the red fox 
Roger Kirkwood, Duncan R. Sutherland, Stuart Murphy and Peter Dann

We distil the key lessons learned from a long-term campaign to control predation of seabirds by foxes. Foxes on Phillip Island, Australia, have been targeted for more than 58 years, but control was effective only after employing a dedicated team and implementing island-wide baiting. Critical to adopting the best management strategy was determining the relationship between predator numbers and impacts on prey populations, and evaluating the efficacy of control methods independently of personal and public biases. Photograph by Phillip Island Nature Parks.

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Published online 26 August 2014
Responses of red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) to windrows of woody debris along forest–clearcut edges 
Thomas P. Sullivan and Druscilla S. Sullivan

Southern red-backed voles disappear from coniferous and mixed forests of western North America that have been harvested by clearcutting. Post-harvest woody debris arranged in large piles and windrows supports populations of this vole and they may potentially use these paths of connectivity to cross clearcuts. If the prey base is present, windrow connectivity may enhance these open areas for small weasels and other carnivores and help maintain abundance and diversity of some forest mammals on clearcuts. Photograph by Dru Sullivan.

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Published online 07 August 2014
Effects of a GnRH vaccine on the movement and activity of free-living wild boar (Sus scrofa) 
Roger J. Quy, Giovanna Massei, Mark S. Lambert, Julia Coats, Lowell A. Miller and David P. Cowan

Overabundant wild boar and feral pigs are associated with disease transmission and negative impacts on agriculture, native wildlife and, particularly where they occur around urban areas, public safety. Fertility control through immunocontraception could offer an alternative approach to population management in situations where lethal control is undesirable or impractical. In a field-based pilot trial we found that wild boar responded to fertility control and that immunocontraception had no adverse effects on behaviour or welfare. The results suggest that immunocontraception should be more widely evaluated in wild boar and feral pig populations. Photograph by NWMC/AHVLA.

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Published online 24 July 2014
Effects of coordinated poison-baiting programs on survival and abundance in two red fox populations 
Andrew Bengsen

Coordinated poison baiting programs are widely used for reducing fox predation on livestock in Australia, but the effects of these programs on fox populations have rarely been tested. I used animal-triggered cameras and GPS tracking collars to monitor two fox populations subjected to coordinated baiting programs and found that many foxes survived baiting. Maximising landholder participation in baiting programs is important, but participants should also strive to maximise the number of foxes on their property that consume baits. Photograph by Andrew Bengsen.

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Volume 41 Number 2 2014

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Is wedge-tailed eagle, Aquila audax, survival and breeding success closely linked to the abundance of European rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus? 
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Jerry Olsen , Brian Cooke , Susan Trost and David Judge
pp. 95-105

Wedge-tailed eagles are often considered to be highly dependent on introduced wild rabbits as prey. However, the spread of myxomatosis and subsequently rabbit haemorrhagic disease did not result in a general decline in eagle abundance, reduced clutch-size or poor nesting success. The conservation of wedge-tailed eagles should not be seen as an obstacle for continuing rabbit control for other conservation objectives, especially those that enhance populations of native prey such as kangaroos. Photograph by Mark Osgood.


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Usefulness of two bioeconomic frameworks for evaluation of community-initiated species conservation projects 
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Christopher Jones and Les McNamara
pp. 106-116

We evaluated two existing bioeconomic tools, the Project Prioritisation Protocol and INFFER, in guiding funding decisions and in guiding project design for community-led conservation projects. Both provide quantitative, transparent processes for the relative evaluation and ranking of competing projects by funders, but are sensitive to species and/or asset valuation and benefit estimates, so users should not accept scores and project rankings uncritically. Their use encourages community groups to document costs, conservation benefits and risks and to develop specific and measurable management outcomes. Photograph by Marie Haley.

    | Supplementary Material (1.8 MB)

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First in, first served: uptake of 1080 poison fox baits in south-west Western Australia 
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Shannon J. Dundas , Peter J. Adams and Patricia A. Fleming
pp. 117-126

Distribution of 1080 baits is an important management tool for the control of foxes. However, little is known about the fate of ground-laid baits. Of 100 known-fate baits monitored with cameras, 99 were taken by non-target species, while 95% of 299 baits monitored for presence/absence had been removed by day 7. The high rates of non-target interference with baits observed are likely to reduce opportunities for foxes to find and consume baits, which should be considered in fox control programs. Photograph by Shannon Dundas.


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Quantitative analysis of animal-welfare outcomes in helicopter shooting: a case study with feral dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) 
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Jordan O. Hampton , Brendan D. Cowled , Andrew L. Perry , Corissa J. Miller , Bidda Jones and Quentin Hart
pp. 127-135

Helicopter shooting is an important management tool for large invasive mammals, but uncertainty regarding the humaneness of the practice has seen its popularity decline. This study quantified animal welfare outcomes for the helicopter shooting of feral dromedary camels and identified factors explaining these outcomes. The humaneness and societal acceptance of future wildlife shooting programs could be improved by applying scientific evaluation to contexts that remain contentious. Photograph by Corissa Miller.


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Kill rates by rabbit hunters before and 16 years after introduction of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in the southern South Island, New Zealand 
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Carlos Rouco , Grant Norbury and Dave Ramsay
pp. 136-140

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is the only successful biological control of a vertebrate pest in New Zealand since it was illegally introduced in 1997, but its effects on rabbit populations have been determined largely by one method – spotlight counts. Twenty-three years of data from a region-wide hunting competition suggests the disease is still killing rabbits but its effects are waning. This use of ‘citizen science’ to understand the effects of a major wildlife disease will help to improve future rabbit-management strategies. Photograph by Carlos Rouco.


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Daily food intake of free-ranging wild rabbits in semiarid South Australia 
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B. D. Cooke
pp. 141-148

Although introduced rabbits are a major pest in Australia, the quality and amount of food eaten in the wild is poorly documented. Data on the quality of food from stomachs of shot rabbits and daily water turnover, measured using dilution of tritiated water in caged and free-living rabbits, were reviewed to resolve this problem. The results will enable the impact of wild rabbits on agricultural production and native vegetation to be better quantified. Photograph by SA Lands Department.


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Floodplain amphibian abundance: responses to flooding and habitat type in Barmah Forest, Murray River, Australia 
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Heather M. McGinness , Anthony D. Arthur , Keith A. Ward and Paula A. Ward
pp. 149-162

Information on the drivers of frog presence and abundance is required to support adaptive management of floodplain wetlands and associated water resources. This study uses data from 6 years of surveys at Barmah Forest to explore how flood frequency, flood timing and habitat type affect resident frog species. It emphasises the value of well-vegetated grassy wetlands and managed flooding for maintenance of frog communities and identifies knowledge gaps to drive future data collection for improved modelling. Photograph by Keith Ward.


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Factors influencing occurrence of a freshwater turtle in an urban landscape: a resilient species? 
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Danielle Stokeld , Andrew J. Hamer , Rodney van der Ree , Vincent Pettigrove and Graeme Gillespie
pp. 163-171

Urbanisation has been implicated as a contributing factor in the decline of freshwater turtles by causing habitat degradation. We investigated the effects of urbanisation on the eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) in greater Melbourne, southeastern Australia, and found weak evidence for adverse effects. While some species of turtle are likely to be resilient to the impacts of urbanisation, the effects are likely to be species specific and further studies are required to ascertain the impacts on a wider array of species. Photograph by Danielle Stokeld.


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Are life-history strategies of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and house mice (Mus musculus) dependent on environmental characteristics? 
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M. V. Vadell , I. E. Gómez Villafañe and R. Cavia
pp. 172-184

Knowledge of population characteristics of pest species is important in predicting population responses to management and plays a key role in management decisions. This work compares population characteristics of Norway rats and house mice living in different habitats and geographic regions and relates them to environmental characteristics. Both species are able to modify their reproductive strategies according to environmental characteristics, especially according to the degree of anthropisation. Photograph by Gerardo Rubén Cueto.


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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    WR14013  Accepted 12 September 2014
    A survey of livestock losses caused by Asiatic wild dogs, leopards and tigers, and of the impact of predation on farmers’ livelihoods in Bhutan
    Om Katel, Saran Pradhan, Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt

    WR14002  Accepted 10 September 2014
    Patterns of grassland productivity, composition and seed abundance, and the diet of the flock bronzewing pigeon Phaps histrionica at one site in northern Australia over a period of marked seasonal change.
    Peter Dostine, John Woinarski, Brendan Mackey, Henry Nix

    WR13211  Accepted 12 September 2014
    Reproductive seasonality in African ungulates in relation to rainfall
    Joseph Ogutu, Piepho Hans-Peter, Holly Dublin

    WR14109  Accepted 09 September 2014
    Evaluation of short-, mid- and long-term effects of toe clipping on a wild rodent
    Benny Borremans, Vincent Sluydts, Rhodes Makundi, Herwig Leirs

    WR13225  Accepted 09 September 2014
    Effects of capturing and collaring on polar bears: Findings from long-term research on the southern Beaufort Sea population
    Karyn Rode, Anthony Pagano, Jeffrey Bromaghin, Todd Atwood, George Durner, Kristin Simac, Steven Amstrup

    WR13217  Accepted 05 September 2014
    Limbless geckoes hanging on? Lessons in exploiting arid zone unpredictability from an elusive habitat specialist pygopod
    Reece Pedler, Robert Brandle, Aaron Fenner, Shontelle Lennon

    WR13218  Accepted 05 September 2014
    The influence of basic beliefs and object-specific attitudes on behavioural intentions towards a rare and little-known amphibian
    Rebecca Perry-Hill, Jordan Smith, Adam Reimer, Nathan Mullendore, Amber Mase, Kate Mulvaney, Linda Prokopy

    WR13103  Accepted 05 September 2014
    Testing the regional genetic representativeness of captive koala populations in South-east Queensland
    Jennifer Seddon, Kristen Lee, Steve Johnston, Vere Nicolson, Michael Pyne, Frank Carrick, William Ellis

    WR14034  Accepted 25 August 2014
    At home in a new range: wild red deer in South-east Queensland
    Matt Amos, Greg Baxter, Neal Finch, Peter Murray

    WR14038  Accepted 20 August 2014
    Using multiple methods to assess detection probabilities of riparian-zone anurans: implications for monitoring
    Jacquelyn Guzy, Steven Price, Michael Dorcas

    WR13220  Accepted 24 February 2014
    Information on population trends and biological constraints from bat counts in roost cavities: a twenty two-year case study of an hibernaculum of Pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Schreber).
    Christian Kerbiriou, Jean François Julien, Sophie Monsarrat, Philippe Lustrat, Alexandre Haquart, Alexandre Robert

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 26 September 2013
A cost-effective and informative method of GPS tracking wildlife

Blake M. Allan, John P. Y. Arnould, Jennifer K. Martin and Euan G. Ritchie

2. Published 13 November 2013
Effectiveness of commercial harvesting in controlling feral-pig populations

Matthew Gentle and Anthony Pople

3. Published 25 March 2014
Continuous monitoring of feeding by koalas highlights diurnal differences in tree preferences

Karen J. Marsh, Ben D. Moore, Ian R. Wallis and William J. Foley

4. Published 22 May 2014
Fertility control to mitigate human–wildlife conflicts: a review

Giovanna Massei and Dave Cowan

5. Published 22 May 2014
Extinction in Eden: identifying the role of climate change in the decline of the koala in south-eastern NSW

Daniel Lunney, Eleanor Stalenberg, Truly Santika and Jonathan R. Rhodes

6. Published 13 November 2013
When deer must die: large uncertainty surrounds changes in deer abundance achieved by helicopter- and ground-based hunting in New Zealand forests

David M. Forsyth, David S. L. Ramsey, Clare J. Veltman, Robert B. Allen, Will J. Allen, Richard J. Barker, Chris L. Jacobson, Simon J. Nicol, Sarah J. Richardson and Charles R. Todd

7. Published 13 August 2014
First in, first served: uptake of 1080 poison fox baits in south-west Western Australia

Shannon J. Dundas, Peter J. Adams and Patricia A. Fleming

8. Published 10 February 2014
Slow recruitment in a red-fox population following poison baiting: a non-invasive mark–recapture analysis

Oliver Berry, Jack Tatler, Neil Hamilton, Steffi Hilmer, Yvette Hitchen and Dave Algar

9. Published 26 September 2013
Deslorelin implants in free-ranging female eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus): mechanism of action and contraceptive efficacy

Michelle E. Wilson, Graeme Coulson, Geoff Shaw and Marilyn B. Renfree

10. Published 26 September 2013
Characteristics of refugia used by the threatened Australian growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) during a prolonged drought

Nick Clemann, Michael P. Scroggie, Michael J. Smith, Garry N. L. Peterson and David Hunter

11. Published 26 September 2013
Are there habitat thresholds in koala occupancy in the semiarid landscapes of the Mulgalands Bioregion?

Andrew G. Smith, Clive McAlpine, Jonathan Rhodes, Leonie Seabrook, Daniel Lunney and Greg Baxter

12. Published 22 May 2014
Expenditure and motivation of Australian recreational hunters

Neal Finch, Peter Murray, Julia Hoy and Greg Baxter

13. Published 26 September 2013
Marine turtle nest depredation by feral pigs (Sus scrofa) on the Western Cape York Peninsula, Australia: implications for management

Poppy A. Whytlaw, Will Edwards and Bradley C. Congdon

14. Published 26 September 2013
Response of a cryptic apex predator to a complete urban to forest gradient

Bronwyn Isaac, John White, Daniel Ierodiaconou and Raylene Cooke

15. Published 25 March 2014
Aerially deployed baits in the northern rangelands of Western Australia are available to wild dogs

Malcolm S. Kennedy, Ken Rose and Gary Martin

16. Published 10 February 2014
Differences in brushtail possum home-range characteristics among sites of varying habitat and population density

Belinda I. Whyte, James G. Ross and Helen M. Blackie

17. Published 13 November 2013
Response of eastern pygmy possums, Cercartetus nanus, to selective logging in New South Wales: home range, habitat selection and den use

Bradley Law, Mark Chidel, Alf Britton and Traecey Brassil

18. Published 22 May 2014
Recolonisation of rabbit warrens following coordinated ripping programs in Victoria, south-eastern Australia

D. S. L. Ramsey, S. R. McPhee, D. M. Forsyth, I. G. Stuart, M. P. Scroggie, M. Lindeman and J. Matthews

19. Published 13 August 2014
Is wedge-tailed eagle, Aquila audax, survival and breeding success closely linked to the abundance of European rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus?

Jerry Olsen, Brian Cooke, Susan Trost and David Judge

20. Published 22 May 2014
Overcoming the challenges of measuring the abundance of a cryptic macropod: is a qualitative approach good enough?

Karlene Bain, Adrian Wayne and Roberta Bencini

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