Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

How effective is spotlighting for detecting the greater glider (Petauroides volans)?

D. B. Lindenmayer, R. B. Cunningham, C. F. Donnelly, R. D. Incoll, M. L. Pope, C. R. Tribolet, K. L. Viggers and A. H. Welsh

Wildlife Research 28(1) 105 - 109
Published: 2001


The efficacy of spotlighting as a field survey technique for detecting the greater glider (Petauroides volans) was assessed by comparing the precise location of radio-tracked animals with locations determined simultaneously from spotlighting searches. Radio-collars were fitted to 20 greater gliders in three eucalypt patches embedded within an extensive radiata pine (Pinus radiata) plantation near Tumut in south-eastern New South Wales. Our success rate for detecting collared animals was low, even when survey effort was increased. These findings suggest that spotlighting underestimates actual population size. A further, properly designed study, in different forest types is needed to provide precise estimates of the magnitude of the bias in counts of P. volans obtained by spotlighting.


© CSIRO 2001

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