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

Wildlife Research

Volume 41 Number 4 2014

WR13103Testing the regional genetic representativeness of captive koala populations in South-East Queensland

Jennifer M. Seddon, Kristen E. Lee, Stephen D. Johnston, Vere N. Nicolson, Michael Pyne, Frank N. Carrick and William A. H. Ellis
pp. 277-286

As wildlife populations decline, supplementation of wild populations with captive individuals becomes a viable conservation strategy. As a case study, captive koala populations in South-East Queensland were tested and found to have nuclear but limited mitochondrial genetic variation as a potential genetic source for local wild populations. Measuring genetic representativeness is complex and population processes have likely led to genetic separation of populations.

WR13218The influence of basic beliefs and object-specific attitudes on behavioural intentions towards a rare and little-known amphibian

Rebecca Perry-Hill, Jordan W. Smith, Adam Reimer, Amber S. Mase, Nathan Mullendore, Kate K. Mulvaney and Linda S. Prokopy
pp. 287-299
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Understanding determinants of positive and negative human behaviour towards threatened and endangered species is critical for ensuring species survival. Attitudes towards wildlife are not usually measured in regards to a specific species; measuring species-specific attitudes helps explain behaviour more than general wildlife attitudes. Efforts to conserve species that are negatively impacted by human behaviour should focus on fostering positive attitudes towards these species.

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Human–wildlife conflict is a serious issue in Bhutan and careful management is required if the dual goals of wildlife conservation and economic livelihoods of farmers are to be met. In Toebesa Gewog, dholes, leopards and tigers constitute a significant threat to farmers’ livelihood. Dholes caused maximum livestock depredation resulting into farmers’ loss of income. Reducing human wildlife conflict through public awareness on livestock and wildlife management may serve to achieve conservation goals in Bhutan and elsewhere.

WR13225Effects of capturing and collaring on polar bears: findings from long-term research on the southern Beaufort Sea population

Karyn D. Rode, Anthony M. Pagano, Jeffrey F. Bromaghin, Todd C. Atwood, George M. Durner, Kristin S. Simac and Steven C. Amstrup
pp. 311-322
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Capture-based research is an effective technique for studying polar bears, but there is a need to better understand the potential for capture to adversely affect bears. In this study, we found no adverse effects of capture or collaring on polar bear body condition, reproduction, or cub survival during a 40-year capture program. Our results suggest that capture is a safe and effective means of monitoring polar bear populations, which is becoming increasingly important as sea ice declines.

WR13211Reproductive seasonality in African ungulates in relation to rainfall

Joseph O. Ogutu, Hans-Peter Piepho and Holly T. Dublin
pp. 323-342
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The optimal period for birth peaks among ungulates living in rainfall-driven tropical savannas is both less reliably predictable and less well understood. We analysed effects of monthly rainfall on fecundity and juvenile recruitment among six ungulate species in the Mara–Serengeti Ecosystem and compared the patterns with those for the same and other species elsewhere. Timing of births was more flexible among African than northern temperate ungulates and was more strongly influenced by rainfall pre-conception to early gestation than at parturition for grazing ungulates. Poor nutrition pre-conception apparently suppressed or delayed conception, whereas good nutrition pre-conception enhanced or advanced oestrus.

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The flock bronzewing pigeon, Phaps histrionica, is an iconic bird of the Australian inland, noted for its strongly pulsing population, with large flocks appearing widely in some years interspersed with long periods of relative scarcity. Its ecology is poorly known, and this study sought to assess its resource use at one site across a period of changing food availability. Its conservation status has been considered insecure, and is likely to be dependent upon the effective management of its core refuge areas, which occur almost entirely in Mitchell grasslands, now almost exclusively used for pastoralism.

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Human–wildlife competition is a worldwide problem. In the Brazilian Pantanal, the competition is between livestock and large cats, such as the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the puma (Puma concolor). Although cattle predation was a real concern for ranch operations, the majority of ranchers who implemented cattle management accept the risk of losing cattle to predation by large cats. We suggest that the focus of conservation actions be on cattle management aimed at minimising other sources of income loss caused by poor husbandry practices.

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