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

Wildlife Research

Volume 40 Number 1 2013

WR12036Contribution of illegal hunting, culling of pest species, road accidents and feral dogs to biodiversity loss in established oil-palm landscapes

Badrul Azhar, David Lindenmayer, Jeff Wood, Joern Fischer, Adrian Manning, Chris McElhinny and Mohamed Zakaria
pp. 1-9
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Apart from preventing forest conversion, mitigating biodiversity loss in established oil palm landscapes is equally important to conserve tropical wildlife. Native fauna are threatened by various anthropogenic threats in the production landscapes including those certified as eco-friendly producers of palm oil. Stakeholders are recommended to mitigate the threats in existing oil palm plantations and smallholdings. Photograph by Badrul Azhar.

WR12148Do mosquitoes influence bat activity in coastal habitats?

Leroy Gonsalves, Susan Lamb, Cameron Webb, Bradley Law and Vaughan Monamy
pp. 10-24
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The saltmarsh mosquito (Aedes vigilax Skuse) is a vector of mosquito-borne viruses and a potentially important food resource for insectivorous bats. Although it is unknown what non-direct impacts broadscale control of Ae. vigilax populations might have on bats, this study identifies those bat species that should be the focus of future studies investigating the importance of Ae. vigilax to bat diet. Establishing the importance of Ae. vigilax to foraging bats is essential to assess non-direct impacts of broadscale mosquito control on bats. Photograph by Leroy Gonsalves.

WR12076Matrix and habitat quality in a montane cloud-forest landscape: amphibians in coffee plantations in central Veracruz, Mexico

Rene Murrieta-Galindo, Fabiola López-Barrera, Alberto González-Romero and Gabriela Parra-Olea
pp. 25-35
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Amphibians are the world’s most endangered animals and their conservation in human-dominated landscapes is a real challenge. We evaluated several factors that affect their presence in coffee-dominated landscapes and found that forest amphibian species prefer coffee agro-ecosystems and forest fragments that have a complex vertical plant structure and a higher presence of rivers in their surroundings. These findings are useful either to identify amphibian-friendly coffee agro-ecosystems and tropical cloud montane forest fragments with the highest conservation priority. Photograph by Rene Murrieta-Galindo.

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Control of introduced pest species is based on the premise that there is a relationship between pest abundance and impact, but this relationship is rarely defined. We found no strong relationships between increasing predator (hedgehog) density and overall changes in abundance of two small New Zealand skink species, but both endemic orthopteran ground weta and juveniles of one skink species only declined as predator density increased. Highly abundant prey populations may be buffered against significant impacts, but less abundant prey and some demographic groups within prey populations, may be at significant risk and wildlife managers should consider individual species’ vulnerabilities when managing introduced pests for biodiversity outcomes. Photograph by Trent Bell.

WR12210Sniffing out the stakes: hair-snares for wild cats in arid environments

Petra U. Hanke and Christopher R. Dickman
pp. 45-51
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Wild cats are difficult to monitor because of their cryptic lifestyle and usually low numbers. We trialled hair-snares in combination with different lures in arid environments and found that cat hair was significantly more often left on snares sprayed with cat urine or tuna oil. Our results broadly support previous research and extend the utility of the method to different wild cat species in arid environments. Photograph by Desert Ecology Research Group.

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The Hudson Bay marine ecosystem experiences high seasonal variability in environmental conditions and recent warming trends have raised concerns for many species of marine mammals. Ringed seals are highly adapted to seasonal patterns of sea ice and, as our results indicate, experience seasonal changes in foraging ecology and body condition. Understanding the current seasonal patterns of ringed seal foraging ecology will have important applications for future management efforts as well as long-term conservation and monitoring programs as environmental conditions continue to change. Photograph by Brent Young.

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Hunters can respond to changing resource and managerial conditions in ways that may surprise wildlife managers. Here, northern Ontario hunters were more successful in harvesting adult moose in areas where the licences required to hunt these moose were scarcer. This surprising result illustrates that hunters can and do respond to changing managerial conditions, and that understanding hunters and their actions are critical for successful wildlife management. Photograph by Len Hunt.

WR12133Prescribed fire in eucalypt woodlands: immediate effects on a microbat community of northern Australia

Tamara E. Inkster-Draper, Marcus Sheaves, Christopher N. Johnson and Simon K. A. Robson
pp. 70-76
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Prescribed fire is often used as a way to manage much of Australia’s bushland, although there is some debate over whether such practices are beneficial to many species of Australian animals. Numerous scientific studies have looked at how different species respond to fire in their environment and despite the fact that bats make up over 30% of Australia’s mammals they have rarely been included in such studies. This study found that bat activity increased following a fire suggesting that prescribed fire may be beneficial to bats, at least in the short term, as it increases habitat suitability for a wider range of species. Photograph by Tamara Inkster-Draper.

WR12075Temporal changes in an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) population

Mitchell B. East, J. Daren Riedle and Day B. Ligon
pp. 77-81
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The alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is a long-lived aquatic turtle experiencing population declines range-wide. Here we report results from a survey of this aquatic turtle that led to conclusions that differ from those of a baseline survey conducted a decade earlier at the same site. Identifying population trends and assessing the status of long-lived species requires consistent longer-term monitoring efforts. Photograph by J. Daren Riedle.

WR12172Removal control of the highly invasive fish Gambusia holbrooki and effects on its population biology: learning by doing

A. Ruiz-Navarro, D. Verdiell-Cubedo, M. Torralva and F. J. Oliva-Paterna
pp. 82-89
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For biodiversity conservation and management of invasive species, the study of the effects that management actions have on their biology is essential for their future success. This work assesses the effects of removal control on the abundance and biology of the top invasive fish eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) and points to compensatory density-dependent adaptations of mosquitofish. Such adaptations should be considered for more effective management programmes. The methodology and factors that successfully controlled the population are also described. Photograph by Carlos González-Revelles.

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