The great desert skink, Liopholis kintorei, is a large, social, burrow constructing skink that has recently experienced population declines and local extinctions. We examined the effect of fire on burrow-system occupancy and breeding success at different spatial and temporal scales and found that fire adversely affects L. kintorei. We recommend prescribed-burning practices that aim to maximise ground cover by reducing the frequency, intensity and size of fires within L. kintorie habitat. Photograph by Josef Schofield/AWC.
Volume 42 Number 3 2015
We constructed a model based upon study area- and literature-derived data in order to provide insight into free-ranging mammal impacts on water quality in Texas, USA. We found that raccoons and Virginia opossums were the largest impactors on projected E. coli loads in study floodplains. Changes in E. coli survival, E. coli concentration in raccoon faecal material, and defaecation rates were critically important; thus, emphasizing the need for additional research of these variables.
We provide estimates of density and home range of feral cats in north-western Australia. We used infrared camera arrays with spatial mark–recapture, and GPS collars deployed on 32 cats. Photograph by Hugh McGregor.
WR15001The temporal multimodal influence of optical and auditory cues on the repellent behavior of ring-billed gulls (Larus delewarensis)
Most pest animals quickly habituate (learn to ignore) to repellents. Therefore, we investigated whether combination-repellents such as lasers and distress calls could be combined into a single repellent to which ring-billed gulls would not quickly habituate. Our results showed that gulls habituated less quickly to combination repellents than to either type of single repellent used on its own. This multi-modal approach may be useful in repelling other pest-species. Photograph by Caitlin Lecker.
WR14067Monitoring the use of road-crossing structures by arboreal marsupials: insights gained from motion-triggered cameras and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags
Wildlife crossing structures aim to reduce the negative effects of roads and traffic on wildlife by providing safe crossing locations. We monitored crossing structures for arboreal marsupials, canopy bridges and glider poles, to see how often animals crossed and how many individuals used the structure. We found five species crossing the structures, with some individuals crossing almost every night to access resources on either side of the freeway. Methods that identify the individuals using a crossing structure can offer insights into the likely effects on wildlife populations and should be widely adopted in future research. Photograph by Kylie Soanes.
WR14164What drives cat-owner behaviour? First steps towards limiting domestic-cat impacts on native wildlife
Reducing the impact of domestic cats on native wildlife is important for conservation gains. Based on a theoretical framework, we identified the key beliefs of cat owners that may facilitate owners to keep cats inside at night. We suggest future advocacy campaigns should use veterinarians as advocates and emphasise the benefits to the cat and the owner of being inside.
WR14124Assessment of habitat fragmentation caused by traffic networks and identifying key affected areas to facilitate rare wildlife conservation in China
The extremely high rate of road construction in China during the last decade has intensified the confliction between traffic network development and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, we measured habitat fragmentation of 21 umbrella species caused by traffic networks using three landscape matrices and identified 17 unit sets as key traffic-affected areas, including 40 highways, 62 national roads and 51 railway sections by a spatially optimal method. Our results can be used to allocate highly limited conservation resources in a more efficient and effective manner, to facilitate wildlife protection in China. Photograph by Weihua Xu.
The knowledge of the various attributes included in the market hunting transactions is relevant to manage game-species populations. The present study identifies the values given by hunters to species, landscape and management in the pricing of the hunter’s bag. Our results indicate a possible conflict among hunters’ preferences, long-term game-management decisions and ecological goals.