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

Wildlife Research

Volume 41 Number 8 2014

WR13206Predicting the future range and abundance of fallow deer in Tasmania, Australia

J. M. Potts, N. J. Beeton, D. M. J. S. Bowman, G. J. Williamson, E. C. Lefroy and C. N. Johnson
pp. 633-640

Fallow deer are currently uncommon in Tasmania, but the population is evidently growing and the species could have significant impacts on agriculture and the environment in the future. We developed a model of the Tasmanian fallow deer population which included components describing both the potential distribution of the species and spatial variation in abundance. The model predicts a potential population of more than one million deer if managers do not take steps to control population growth.

WR14196The effect of research activities and winter precipitation on voiding behaviour of Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)

Mickey Agha, Mason O. Murphy, Jeffrey E. Lovich, Joshua R. Ennen, Christian R. Oldham, Kathie Meyer, Curtis Bjurlin, Meaghan Austin, Sheila Madrak, Caleb Loughran, Laura Tennant and Steven J. Price
pp. 641-649
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Understanding stress responses in wildlife to common research practices is an important area of focus for wildlife management. This study demonstrated that both research activities and abiotic conditions influence the probability of voiding, a possible sign of stress, in desert tortoises. Desert tortoises also displayed a reduced likelihood of voiding as the number of captures increased, which may suggest habituation to handling by researchers. Photograph by Jeffrey Lovich.

WR14234Seasonal and individual variation in selection by feral cats for areas with widespread primary prey and localised alternative prey

Jennyffer Cruz, Chris Woolmore, M. Cecilia Latham, A. David M. Latham, Roger P. Pech and Dean P. Anderson
pp. 650-661
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Seasonal and individual variation in predator selection for primary and alternative prey can influence invasive-predator impacts on rare prey and should therefore be considered when designing management programs to protect rare prey. This study highlights individual and seasonal variation in resource selection by feral cats for areas with rabbits and areas surrounding a black-fronted tern colony. Findings support coupled-control of feral cats and rabbits within a 1-km buffer surrounding the tern colony to protect it. Photograph shows a cat preying on an adult tern. Photograph by Department of Conservation.

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Livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) can be highly effective in protecting livestock from predators; however, how they accomplish this, is poorly understood. In this research, we showed experimentally that the response of LGDs to predator incursions is based on territorial behaviour. This has implications for the management of LGDs in order to maximise their effectiveness; if properly managed, LGDs can play a key role in minimising human-predator conflict. Photograph shows one of the Maremma sheepdogs used in the trials.

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Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) road-kills pose a serious threat to this distinctive South American mammal. Our investigation in south-eastern Brazil documented increased vehicle-caused anteater fatalities in the dry season and kill rates that rose with dense roadside vegetation and road straightness. These findings highlight the importance of vehicle collisions to giant anteater populations and suggest mitigation measures for anteater conservation. Photograph by Samuel C. B. Maciel.

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The establishment of red fox population in Tasmania has very serious implications for many native species and for agriculture. Understanding the rate at which fox scats degrade within the environment is a key component for estimating the power of scat-monitoring programs for detecting this cryptic predator and will contribute to a broader understanding of the use of scat monitoring for informing eradication programs. Photograph showing the screening of scats by a detector dog by W. E. Brown.

Cattle and deer may interact in young forests used for summer range and in winter range used by mule deer. We investigated habitat use by cattle and mule deer in thinned and fertilised young forests; grazing by both ungulates seemed compatible at least in these managed stands. Fertilisation may result in sufficient forage for these ungulates in stands managed for timber production.

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There is a need for forest managers to locate hollow-bearing trees with a high level of accuracy at low cost over large forest areas. This article investigates the effectiveness of remote-sensing techniques for assessing the hollow-bearing status of individual trees across a forest landscape. A proof of concept is demonstrated, with implications for cost-effective forest management.

WR14063Camera-trapping as a methodology to assess the persistence of wildlife carcasses resulting from collisions with human-made structures

João J. S. Paula, Regina M. B. Bispo, Andreia H. Leite, Pedro G. S. Pereira, Hugo M. R. G. Costa, Carlos M. M. S. Fonseca, Miguel R. T. Mascarenhas and Joana L. V. Bernardino
pp. 717-725
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Camera-trapping has been used in a large number of ecological studies. In this study, we use this methodology to assess the persistence of wildlife carcasses resulting from collisions with human-made structures. Carcass-persistence time was influenced by the scavenger guild and by exposure to rain. Camera traps allowed us to record the exact removal time, reducing the number of visits to the study site about five times. It is important to undertake site-specific carcass-removal trials in order to identify the factors that affect carcass-persistence. When choosing camera-trapping, the main aspect to evaluate is the balance between the investment in equipment purchase and the cost savings through reduced displacement costs. Photograph by João Paula.

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