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

Wildlife Research

Volume 39 Number 6 2012

WR11087Can correlated population trends among forest bird species be predicted by similarity in traits?

Joanne M. Hoare, Adrian Monks and Colin F. J. O'Donnell
pp. 469-477
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Few attempts have been made to test the assumption that multiple populations will respond similarly to management, despite many conservation decisions relying on it. We found evidence of correlated population trends within a forest bird community affected by introduced mammalian predators. However, correlations could not be predicted by similarity in birds’ ecological traits, limiting our ability to both predict correlated responses to management and to identify indicator taxa. Photograph by Joanne Hoare.

WR11152Effect of paved road density on abundance of white-tailed deer

Keith G. Munro, Jeff Bowman and Lenore Fahrig
pp. 478-487
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Hundreds of thousands of deer are killed each year on North American roads. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether these deaths reduce deer populations. We show the opposite, that deer populations are larger in landscapes where deer road mortality is higher, and we suggest that this pattern is likely due to lower deer deaths by predators and hunters in landscapes with high road mortality. Photograph by Erica Newton.

WR11077Habitat model for baiting foxes in suburban areas to counteract Echinococcus multilocularis

Andreas König, Christof Janko, Bence Barla-Szabo, Diana Fahrenhold, Claudius Heibl, Eva Perret and Stefanie Wermuth
pp. 488-495
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Foxes are carriers of many zoonosis and treating foxes with medication of edible bait is often the only way of protecting people. As foxes settle in urban areas with population densities that are 8–10 times higher than in rural areas, the infection risk for humans in urban areas is much higher than in rural areas. In order to reduce the infection risk for humans a habitat model for baiting foxes in an urban area was developed and successfully evaluated. Photograph by Andreas König.

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Rattus tanezumi is a serious crop pest within the island of Luzon, Philippines. We radiotracked breeding R. tanezumi females in lowland rice–coconut systems and revealed that most females trapped in rice fields preferred to nest in the adjacent coconut groves, with several nesting in coconut tree crowns. In such complex agro-ecosystems, coconut groves adjacent to rice fields should be targeted for R. tanezumi nest management as part of an integrated ecologically based approach to rodent pest management. Photograph by Alexander M. Stuart.

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In 2005, a traditional Patagonian ranch was converted into a wildlife reserve, offering the opportunity to assess changes in guanaco tolerance to human presence after harassment towards these native ungulates ceased. Flight response to motorised vehicles decreased progressively during the study and significant differences with initial conditions emerged during the fourth year of monitoring. Our results highlight guanacos’ ability to rapidly habituate to vehicles if neutral stimuli operate for a few years, reinforcing the potential for tourist-oriented use of this species. Photograph by Ines Naya.

WR11176First telemetry study of bush dogs: home range, activity and habitat selection

Edson de Souza Lima, Karen E. DeMatteo, Rodrigo S. P. Jorge, Maria Luisa S. P. Jorge, Julio Cesar Dalponte, Herson Souza Lima and Stuart A. Klorfine
pp. 512-519
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Understanding what animals do in the wild is essential for success of action plans of endangered species. Bush dogs are small (4–6 kg), social wild dogs from Neotropics. We tracked a pack of bush dogs in private lands and found that it occupied an area of hundreds of square kilometres, and used mostly strips of native vegetation. Our findings highlight the importance of preserving large and connected tracts of native habitat in private lands for survival of this species. Photograph by Edson de Souza Lima.

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Stranded whales elicit strong responses from the public and managers alike and significant resources are often devoted to rescue efforts. To investigate whether refloated whales ultimately survive their ordeal, we deployed satellite transmitters on five of 11 long-finned pilot whales that were returned to the water after stranding in northern Tasmania in 2008. The results validate rescue efforts and inform future stranding responses by demonstrating that, with appropriate management, whales can be successfully rescued from even the most challenging situations. Photograph by Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

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The reduction in biodiversity values has its origin in a series of phenomena linked to human activities as nature recreation. The effects of tourist pressure and reproduction on the physiological stress response were evaluated in wildcat in a natural park. The stress response was higher in park zones where tourism intensity was high and during the gestation and young dispersal periods. In protected areas, tourist activities act as stressors for wildcats and possibly for other carnivore species. Photograph by Isabel Barja.


Many wildlife species co-exist with agricultural activities such as grazing by sheep. For endangered pygmy bluetongue lizards, in burrows in a natural population, we found that basking behaviour and foraging success changed under conditions simulating high or low grazing pressure. The balance of benefits and costs of grazing for this lizard might vary in different circumstances, and more generally, conservation programs need to understand how reduced grass cover from grazing can impact grass land species.

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Reliable monitoring data for species of rare and cryptic fauna are often lacking, which presents a major impediment for conservation planning. To help address this shortfall, we compared the effectiveness of two widely used wildlife survey methods, infrared digital cameras and hair tunnels, for detecting small to medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals. Our trial clearly demonstrates far superior performance of cameras over hair tunnels for determining the presence of species from this faunal group at sites in south-eastern Australian forests. Photograph by David Paull and Andrew Claridge.

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