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

Use of bioclimatic analysis to direct survey effort for the long-footed potoroo (Potorous longipes), a rare forest-dwelling rat-kangaroo

Wildlife Research 29(2) 193 - 202
Published: 14 June 2002


The long-footed potoroo (Potorous longipes) is one of the rarest and most elusive forest-dwelling mammals in Australia. Survey effort for the species over the past decade or so in south-eastern New South Wales has been driven, primarily, by predictions derived from climatic analyses using BIOCLIM. These predictions were based on known locality records of the long-footed potoroo from adjacent East Gippsland, Victoria. While they have proven useful in confirming the occurrence of the species in New South Wales, recent fortuitous records of the species from north-eastern Victoria fall well outside of the range predicted earlier by BIOCLIM. Using these new records a revised predicted range is calculated, enlarging considerably the potential geographic extent of climatically suitable habitat for the species. The results presented here highlight the limitations of BIOCLIM when given locality records of a species from only a portion of its true geographic range. I argue that less emphasis might be based on this approach to direct survey effort for the species in the future. Instead, a range of other environmental variables might be used in combination with BIOCLIM-derived outputs when selecting survey sites. In this way a more representative picture of the distribution of the species may be obtained.


© CSIRO 2002

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