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

Wildlife Research

Volume 40 Number 8 2013

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Aerial baiting is a cost-effective method of wild-dog control in remote areas; however, aerially deployed baits may be lost to positions that are inaccessible to wild dogs. We examined availability of aerially deployed baits to wild dogs across four commonly baited landforms in the northern rangelands of Western Australia and found high availability across all landforms. The low loss of baits means operators do not need to address losses through compensatory baiting. Photograph by Malcolm Kennedy.

WR13104Continuous monitoring of feeding by koalas highlights diurnal differences in tree preferences

Karen J. Marsh, Ben D. Moore, Ian R. Wallis and William J. Foley
pp. 639-646
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Because they are such highly specialised feeders, understanding which trees koalas feed from is essential to identify and manage their habitat. Using radio-collars fitted with microphones, we recorded koala feeding continuously for periods of 2 weeks and found that tree use and feeding preferences differed between day and night. This work should prompt a re-evaluation of how koala observations are used to infer koala diet and habitat preferences. Photograph by Karen Marsh.

The deployment of a toxic bait may be a logistically simple tool to reduce populations of common carp; however, the piscicide commonly used in previous attempts to produce a carp bait, rotenone, is very expensive. We tested the toxicity of two alternative piscicides that are considerably less expensive and found that the LD50 (dose rate the kills 50% of subjects) of cube root powder and sodium nitrite was 135.7 mg kg–1 and 122.0 mg kg–1, respectively. Our results indicate that either piscicide may be incorporated into a pellet to target carp and further investigation of delivery in bait is now warranted.

WR13061Habitats associated with vehicle collisions with wild pigs

James C. Beasley, Tracy E. Grazia, Paul E. Johns and John J. Mayer
pp. 654-660
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In recent decades the frequency of wild pig–vehicle collisions (WPVC) and the number of human fatalities associated with these accidents have increased concurrent with expanding populations of this species, particularly in regions outside its native distribution. Using a 20-year dataset we were able to determine that collision locations with wild pigs occurred most frequently in areas of preferred habitats such as nearby stream crossings and riparian areas. Knowledge of landscape characteristics associated with collisions with wild pigs is essential to the development of mitigation strategies to reduce the frequency and impacts of WPVC’s in areas of high pig densities. Photograph by Jack Mayer.

WR13154Population dynamics of house mice in Queensland grain-growing areas

Anthony Pople, Joe Scanlan, Peter Cremasco and Julianne Farrell
pp. 661-674
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Mouse plagues are irregular and costly, but crop farmers usually only implement control when they see damage. This is often too late to prevent heavy losses and so early predictions or warnings of a plague will allow farmers to control mice proactively with poison baits. Using a 35-year trapping dataset from southern Queensland, models predicting peak mouse numbers in autumn and winter were developed using rainfall and spring mouse abundance. The latter needs to be determined from local, farm-based monitoring. Photograph by Biosecurity Queensland.

WR13153Testing the effectiveness of surveying techniques in determining bat community composition within woodland

Paul R. Lintott, Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor, Dave Goulson and Kirsty J. Park
pp. 675-684
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Accurately estimating species’ population abundance is essential for wildlife and habitat management. We show that, for some bat species, acoustic monitoring can be used as a surrogate for trapping as a measure of relative abundance within woodlands, while the use of an acoustic lure can increase trapping efficiency. The use of these techniques can enhance surveying effectiveness, maximise the knowledge of diversity in an area, minimise wildlife disturbance and improve the accuracy of targeted conservation decisions. Photograph by J. M. Wallace.

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The Wet Tropics bioregion of Queensland is a biodiversity hotspot being the home to numerous rare endemic small mammal species, many of which are elusive to catch, and thus very difficult to monitor. We trial an alternative monitoring approach, using feeding remains (regurgitated pellets) from lesser sooty owls in an inventory of small mammals in Danbulla National Park near Cairns. Lesser sooty owl pellets performed better than traditional trapping methods for listing small mammal species in the park, but more work needs to be done to assess its use for monitoring population abundances. Photograph by Rohan Bilney.

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The effect of global warming on vegetation can profoundly alter timing, spread and fecundity of reproduction in large mammals. Our analysis of how timing, spread and fecundity of births vary with between-year variation in rainfall among large mammals living in equatorial African savannas show that births are delayed, fewer and more spread out in drought than in wet years. Hence an increase in the frequency and severity of droughts due to global warming will likely alter the timing of births relative to resource peaks, lower female fecundity and offspring survival in large mammals. Photograph by Niels Mogensen.

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