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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 22 May 2015
Arctic ground squirrel population collapse in the boreal forests of the Southern Yukon 
Jeffery R. Werner, Charles J. Krebs, Scott A. Donker, Rudy Boonstra and Michael J. Sheriff

Because boreal ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere are relatively simple, dramatic changes in the abundance of any one wildlife species can have widespread and unpredictable effects. Here we document the disappearance of a once common herbivore from the montane boreal forests of SW Yukon, and report on experiments designed to clarify the causes of population collapses. Our findings point to the intensified role of predation in this system, whose influences likely extend to other prey species.

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Published online 22 May 2015
Population ecology of the Asian house rat (Rattus tanezumi) in complex lowland agroecosystems in the Philippines 
Alexander M. Stuart, Grant R. Singleton and Colin V. Prescott

In developing countries, losses caused by rodents to agricultural crops are an important threat to food security and farmer livelihood. In complex agroecosystems in the Philippines, where rodents cause significant rice yield loss, our paper reports that the rice crop stage is a major factor influencing habitat use and breeding biology of the pest rodent species. By understanding the ecology of the pest species, we developed rodent management strategies to reduce both yield losses and costs of rodent control.

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Published online 22 May 2015
Reproduction and survival of rodents in crop fields: the effects of rainfall, crop stage and stone-bund density 
Yonas Meheretu, Kiros Welegerima, Vincent Sluydts, Hans Bauer, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Jozef Deckers, Rhodes Makundi and Herwig Leirs

Stone-bunds built primarily to reduce soil erosion by runoff in Ethiopian highlands are raising concerns among farmers and pest control experts that they may act as refugia for rodents. Following a recent report that fields with high stone-bund density harbor more rodents and endure more crop damage than fields with low stone-bunds, we investigated if the same scenario holds true for reproduction and survival. We found that variation in stone-bund density has a minor influence on reproduction and survival, but the rodents investigated show high local survival rates. Photograph by Yonas Meheretu.

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Published online 21 April 2015
Mutualistic and predatory interactions are driven by rodent body size and seed traits in a rodent–seed system in warm-temperate forest in northern China 
Hongmao Zhang, Zhenzhen Wang, Qinghuan Zeng, Gang Chang, Zhenyu Wang and Zhibin Zhang

Mutualistic interactions between animals and plants affect plant structure and regeneration. We assessed the effects of plant–rodent functional traits on the formation of mutualistic and predatory interactions between five tree species and six rodents. Both body size of rodents and seed traits are key factors in the formation of mutualistic and predatory interactions within this plant–rodent system. To promote seedling recruitment in degenerated forests, introducing or protecting large-sized scatter hoarders and reducing pure seed eaters are needed. Photograph by Hongmao Zhang.

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Published online 30 March 2015
Progress on research on rodents and rodent-borne zoonoses in South-east Asia 
Kim Blasdell, Frédéric Bordes, Kittipong Chaisiri, Yannick Chaval, Julien Claude, Jean-François Cosson, Alice Latinne, Johan Michaux, Serge Morand, Marie Pagès and Annelise Tran

Rodents are major crop pests and they are also hosts of important rodent-borne diseases in South-east Asia, for which infection risks to humans are affected by ongoing land use changes. Improvement of rodent taxonomy, thanks to molecular tools, and phylogenetic reconstruction allow a better description of the distribution of major rodents and their associated rodent-borne diseases among habitats. Our review shows that the structure of landscape affects the likely presence of rodent-borne diseases.

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Published online 20 March 2015
Recovery of small rodent populations after population collapse 
S. Hein and J. Jacob

Understanding recovery mechanisms of small rodents is important to improve strategies for pest management and conservation based on the target species’ ecology. Published information indicates that population recovery after sudden collapse strongly depends on factors such as life-history strategy, social behaviour, and density-dependent processes. Findings suggest to make case-by-case decisions for small scale conservation issues and to manage r-selection strategist pest rodents on a large spatial scale, including refuge areas, and to monitor for survivors after a couple of months. Photograph of a common vole (Microtus arvalis) by Jens Jacob.

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Published online 13 March 2015
Anthropogenic stressors influence small mammal communities in tropical East African savanna at multiple spatial scales 
Andrea E. Byrom, Ally J. K. Nkwabi, Kristine Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, Guy J. Forrester, Wendy A. Ruscoe, Denné N. Reed, John Bukombe, John Mchetto and A. R. E. Sinclair

Ecosystems are under threat from global stressors that reduce their resilience. We investigated how land use and climate change (two such stressors) could impact the diversity and resilience of a small mammal community in East African savanna ecosystems. Agro-ecosystems were less likely to contain specialist species compared to protected natural ecosystems, with the consequence that land use intensification and projected changes in climate may compromise the future resilience of the small mammal community in this tropical savanna ecosystem. Photograph by Andrea Byrom.

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Published online 11 March 2015
Boldness and urban dwelling in little ravens 
Aaron Vines and Alan Lill

To successfully inhabit cities, birds must be inherently able or learn to cope with high volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This study showed that urban little ravens were much more tolerant of approaches by pedestrians than their exurban counterparts, but urban individuals living in high- and low-volume traffic areas varied little in their tolerance of human proximity and a simulated vehicle sound. A high level of boldness appears to be important in facilitating urban-living by native little ravens and may be genetically and/or learning-based.

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Published online 04 March 2015
Estimating rodent losses to stored rice as a means to assess efficacy of rodent management 
Steven R. Belmain, Nyo Me Htwe, Nazira Q. Kamal and Grant R. Singleton

Globally, rats and mice annually eat and spoil cereals that could feed ~280 million people in developing countries alone. This figure is based mainly on pre-harvest losses. Our paper reports post-harvest losses of rice in rural households of 2.5% in Bangladesh and 17% in Myanmar; losses that were reduced to 0.5% and 5%, respectively, through community level control and improved hygiene of granaries. Large post-harvest losses by rats and mice are of significant concern for food security and are preventable.

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Published online 03 December 2014
Evaluation of short-, mid- and long-term effects of toe clipping on a wild rodent 
Benny Borremans, Vincent Sluydts, Rhodes H. Makundi and Herwig Leirs

Toe clipping is a cheap and efficient method for marking rodents, yet its effect is not well known. Using a 17-year capture–mark–recapture dataset in which mice were individually marked using toe clipping, we found no evidence for a biologically significant effect of clipping. We did observe that when mice were trapped for the first time, there was an effect on body condition and a scare effect, where they moved further away from the trap location.

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Volume 42 Number 1 2015

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How to snap your cat: optimum lures and their placement for attracting mammalian predators in arid Australia 
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J. L. Read, A. J. Bengsen, P. D. Meek and K. E. Moseby
pp. 1-12

Monitoring and managing feral cats is challenging because they are typically wary or disinterested in meat baits used for luring, baiting or trapping foxes and wild dogs. Camera-trap detection rates of cats was higher on roads and near resource points than through use of olfactory, audial and visual lures at other locations. Lures can, however, change cat behaviour to increase their vulnerability to automated control techniques.


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Nest location influences hatching success in the Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) on Siniya Island, United Arab Emirates 
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S. B. Muzaffar, R. Gubiani and S. Benjamin
pp. 13-18

Factors affecting nest location can determine successful breeding in colonial seabirds. We assessed how nest location influenced breeding Socotra Cormorants and found that pairs in nests occurring close to areas with high predator activity were least successful in producing chicks. Thus, conservation of this declining seabird with a restricted geographic distribution may require management of predators to improve breeding success. Photograph by Sabir Bin Muzaffar.


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Food base of the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) in Ethiopia 
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Gidey Yirga, Hans H. De Iongh, Herwig Leirs, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Jozef Deckers and Hans Bauer
pp. 19-24

Spotted hyenas have adapted to human-dominated habitats across Ethiopia and benefit from waste disposal. The aim of this study was to investigate the food base of the spotted hyena and livestock depredation across Ethiopia. Survival of hyenas in Ethiopia is largely and widely dependent on management of livestock conflict and waste. Photograph by Karine Aigner.

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Road and traffic factors correlated to wildlife–vehicle collisions in Galicia (Spain) 
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Enrique Valero, Juan Picos and Xana Álvarez
pp. 25-34

Traffic accidents related to wildlife usually occur spatially clustered in certain roads and in a specific section of them. A methodology based on GIS to identify the sections of the roads with higher density of accidents and to select the variables of roads and traffic that influence on the probability of an accident. Through a hotspot analysis the sections of Galician roads with higher density of accidents were identified.


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Information on population trends and biological constraints from bat counts in roost cavities: a 22-year case study of a pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus Schreber) hibernaculum 
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Christian Kerbiriou, Jean François Julien, Sophie Monsarrat, Philippe Lustrat, Alexandre Haquart and Alexandre Robert
pp. 35-43

According to the current trend of biodiversity loss, information on population trends at large temporal and spatial scales is necessary. We purpose a pragmatic approach to analyse count data of bats in hibernaculum, using combinations of population-dynamics modelling using demographic parameters from the literature and statistical analyses. This approach helps with identifying factors underlying the dynamics observed in census analyses. Photograph by Laurent Arthur.

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Low humidity is a failed treatment option for chytridiomycosis in the critically endangered southern corroboree frog 
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Laura A. Brannelly, Lee Berger, Gerry Marrantelli and Lee F. Skerratt
pp. 44-49

The disease chytridiomycosis is causing massive declines globally, and the current treatment methods can be harmful or impractical for some species. We trialled the treatment method of drying, but found that neither mortality nor infection was decreased, and drying may have hastened mortality. Infection may decrease an animal’s ability to cope with water stress, which may cause further declines in the face of global climate change. Photograph of southern corroboree frog by Laura Brannelly.


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Current insecticide treatments used in locust control have less of a short-term impact on Australian arid-zone reptile communities than does temporal variation 
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Kimberly Maute, Kristine French, C. Michael Bull, Paul Story and Grant Hose
pp. 50-59

The effect of locust control on reptiles is unknown, despite high diversity of reptile species in Australian arid ecosystems where locust control is commonly undertaken. Neither reptile abundance nor community composition changed after barrier application of fipronil (pesticide) or blanket application of Metarhizium acridium (biopesticide), suggesting that these locust-control methods pose a relatively insignificant hazard to reptile populations. Photograph by K. Maute.

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Dimensions of local public attitudes towards invasive species management in protected areas 
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Adriana E. S. Ford-Thompson, Carolyn Snell, Glen Saunders and Piran C. L. White
pp. 60-74

Managing invasive species can be a challenging endeavour, made more complex by the different perceptions that people have towards them. We assessed local attitudes towards non-native deer in the Royal National Park, Australia, identifying three key dimensions to these attitudes (broadly grouped as stakeholder, wildlife, and management dimensions) as well as key issues of conflict. Our study, including the framework we developed, has the potential to help facilitate conflict mitigation in invasive species management. Photograph by Brian Boyle, provided by Invasive Animals CRC.

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The influence of road characteristics and species on detection probabilities of carnivore faeces 
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Bryan M. Kluever, Eric M. Gese and Steven J. Dempsey
pp. 75-82

Collecting and counting faeces deposited by wildlife species on roads has become a common way of estimating population sizes, which guides management and conservation decisions. The issue of faeces detectability on roads has previously been ignored, but we found that the ability of human observers to detect faeces on roads is influenced by species of origin, road width and road type. Our findings suggest that failure to acknowledge and account for faeces detection rates can lead to biased study findings, which in turn could lead to inappropriate management and conservation recommendations.


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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.

    WR14222  Accepted 28 May 2015
    How many are there? Multiple covariate distance sampling for monitoring pampas deer in Corrientes, Argentina
    Talía Zamboni, Alicia Delgado, Ignacio Jiménez Pérez, Carlos De Angelo

    WR14124  Accepted 24 May 2015
    Assessment of habitat fragmentation caused by traffic networks and identifying key affected areas to facilitate rare wildlife conservation in China
    Lu Zhang, Weihua Xu, Zhiyun Ouyang, Tian Dong

    WR15094  Accepted 22 May 2015
    A meeting of mice and men: rodent impacts on food security, human diseases and wildlife conservation; ecosystem benefits; fascinating biological models
    Grant Singleton, Jens Jacob, Charles Krebs, Ara Monadjem

    WR15048  Accepted 18 May 2015
    The ecological impacts of commensal species: Black rats Rattus rattus at the urban-bushland interface
    Peter Banks, Helen Smith

    WR14229  Accepted 18 May 2015
    Human-wildlife interactions in urban areas: a review of conflicts, benefits and opportunities
    Carl Soulsbury, Piran White

    WR15001  Accepted 10 May 2015
    The temporal multimodal influence of optical and auditory cues on the repellent behavior of Ring-billed gulls (Larus delewarensis)
    Caitlin Lecker, Michael Parsons, Dan Lecker, Ron Sarno, Faith Parsons

    WR14254  Accepted 10 May 2015
    We are connected: Flea-host association networks in the plague outbreak focus in the Rift Valley, northern Tanzania
    Rhodes Makundi, Apia Massawe, Benny Borremans, Anne Laudisoit, Abdul Katakweba

    WR14067  Accepted 10 May 2015
    Monitoring the use of road-crossing structures by arboreal marsupials: insights gained from motion-triggered cameras and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags
    Kylie Soanes, Peter Vesk, Rodney van der Ree

    WR14164  Accepted 09 May 2015
    What drives cat owner behaviour?: First steps towards limiting domestic cat impacts on native wildlife
    Edith MacDonald, Taciano Milfont, Michael Gavin

    WR15047  Accepted 19 April 2015
    Assessment of invasive rodent impacts on island avifauna: methods, limitations and the way forward
    Lise Ruffino, Diane Zarzoso-Lacoste, Eric Vidal

    WR14180  Accepted 18 April 2015
    Density and home range of feral cats in north-western Australia
    Hugh McGregor, Sarah Legge, Joanne Potts, Menna Jones, Chris Johnson

    WR14148  Accepted 20 March 2015
    Good neighbours: Distribution of black tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) in an urban environment
    Bruno Teixeira, Andre Hirsch, Vinicius Goulart, Luiza Passos, Camila Teixeira, Philip James, Robert Young

    WR15015  Accepted 09 March 2015
    A model for assessing mammal contribution of Escherichia coli to a Texas floodplain
    Israel Parker, Roel Lopez, Raghupathy Karthikeyan, Nova Silvy, Donald Davis, James Cathey

    WR14227  Accepted 03 March 2015
    Is fire a threatening process for Liopholis kintorei—a nationally listed threatened skink?
    Danae Moore, Michael Kearney, Rachael Paltridge, Steve McAlpin, Adam Stow

    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 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

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

Giovanna Massei and Dave Cowan

3. Published 20 February 2015
Effects of low-level culling of feral cats in open populations: a case study from the forests of southern Tasmania

Billie T. Lazenby, Nicholas J. Mooney and Christopher R. Dickman

4. 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

5. Published 6 October 2014
Lessons from long-term predator control: a case study with the red fox

Roger Kirkwood, Duncan R. Sutherland, Stuart Murphy and Peter Dann

6. Published 6 October 2014
Effects of coordinated poison-baiting programs on survival and abundance in two red fox populations

Andrew Bengsen

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

Neal Finch, Peter Murray, Julia Hoy and Greg Baxter

8. Published 6 October 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

9. Published 20 February 2015
A critical review of habitat use by feral cats and key directions for future research and management

Tim S. Doherty, Andrew J. Bengsen and Robert A. Davis

10. 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

11. Published 4 March 2015
How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates

Jim Hone and Tony Buckmaster

12. 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

13. Published 13 August 2014
Quantitative analysis of animal-welfare outcomes in helicopter shooting: a case study with feral dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius)

Jordan O. Hampton, Brendan D. Cowled, Andrew L. Perry, Corissa J. Miller, Bidda Jones and Quentin Hart

14. 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

15. Published 13 August 2014
Factors influencing occurrence of a freshwater turtle in an urban landscape: a resilient species?

Danielle Stokeld, Andrew J. Hamer, Rodney van der Ree, Vincent Pettigrove and Graeme Gillespie

16. Published 22 May 2014
Estimates of abundance and apparent survival of coastal dolphins in Port Essington harbour, Northern Territory, Australia

Carol Palmer, Lyndon Brooks, Guido J. Parra, Tracey Rogers, Debra Glasgow and John C. Z. Woinarski

17. Published 6 October 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

18. Published 6 October 2014
At home in a new range: wild red deer in south-eastern Queensland

Matt Amos, Greg Baxter, Neal Finch and Peter Murray

19. Published 13 August 2014
Usefulness of two bioeconomic frameworks for evaluation of community-initiated species conservation projects

Christopher Jones and Les McNamara

20. Published 13 August 2014
Floodplain amphibian abundance: responses to flooding and habitat type in Barmah Forest, Murray River, Australia

Heather M. McGinness, Anthony D. Arthur, Keith A. Ward and Paula A. Ward

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