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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 33(3)

A community-based wildlife survey: the knowledge and attitudes of residents of suburban Brisbane, with a focus on bandicoots

Sean I. FitzGibbon A C, Darryl N. Jones B

A School of Integrative Biology, The University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia.
B Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Qld 4111, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: s.fitzgibbon@uq.edu.au
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Within the expanding city of Brisbane in south-east Queensland, numerous fragments of native and regrowth vegetation are scattered across the largely urbanised landscape. These fragments provide refuge to a great diversity of native wildlife, and provide residents with the opportunity to experience nature on their doorstep. To assess the diversity and abundance of this wildlife, recent changes in these parameters, and the value of wildlife and bushland fragments to residents of Brisbane, a questionnaire survey was distributed to 300 households each located adjacent to one of 38 urban bushland fragments. A total of 172 surveys (57%) were returned, producing 768 records of 83 fauna species, dominated by birds and mammals; bandicoots were widely reported from the 38 fragments. Several historical records provided evidence of recent local extinctions within fragments, highlighting the continuing declines in various species of native wildlife within Brisbane. Several human–wildlife conflicts were identified, but overall residents were tolerant of such conflicts. Bandicoots were disliked by a small minority (3%) of residents owing to the holes they dig in lawns and gardens in search of food, and their potential as vectors of ticks. Most respondents expressed an appreciation for the presence of native wildlife (96%) and bushland fragments (97%) in their local area, emphasising the importance of incorporating human dimension values into the management of this urban biodiversity.

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