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

Wildlife Research

Volume 42 Number 6 2015

WR15020Space use by resident and transient coyotes in an urban–rural landscape mosaic

Numi Mitchell, Michael W. Strohbach, Ralph Pratt, Wendy C. Finn and Eric G. Strauss
pp. 461-469
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Coyotes in urban areas cause concern about human–wildlife conflicts. Space use by coyotes shows avoidance of humans, but also intraspecific competition between territorial resident coyotes and transient coyotes. Coexistence strategies can build on the tendency of coyotes to avoid humans, but must consider that transient coyotes show a tendency to occupy less desirable habitats including land cover with high human activity. Photograph by Dave Hornoff, The Conservation Agency.

WR15044Observations on effects of feral pig (Sus scrofa) age and sex on diet

Jason Wishart, Steven Lapidge, Michael Braysher, Stephen D. Sarre and Jim Hone
pp. 470-474
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We investigated whether age and sex influenced feral pig diet. Juveniles had less grass and crop material and more forbs in their diet than adult feral pigs. No differences in dietary animal items were found. Biodiversity and feral pig management should recognise such differences. Photograph by Jason Wishart.

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Cape York Peninsula is a significant conservation landscape and knowledge of the patterns and composition of the mammal fauna is required for effective contemporary management. We sampled 202 sites systematically between 2009 and 2012, and the mammal fauna was species rich yet sparse, dissipated and largely absent from Eucalyptus woodlands. Vegetation complexity and fire history were key predictors of mammals although responses varied between species. In this context, fire management strategies need to be tailored to promote the elements of mammal fauna that are declining. Photograph: Planigale maculata at Pormpuraaw, Cape York Peninsula, Australia, by Eric Vanderduys.

WR15064Mixed stock analysis of a resident green turtle, Chelonia mydas, population in New Caledonia links rookeries in the South Pacific

Tyffen C. Read, Nancy N. FitzSimmons, Laurent Wantiez, Michael P. Jensen, Florent Keller, Olivier Chateau, Richard Farman, Jonathan Werry, Kenneth T. MacKay, George Petro and Colin J. Limpus
pp. 488-499
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To effectively protect threatened species like sea turtles, it is important to identify the connectivity between specific rookeries and foraging grounds. We investigated the recruitment patterns of Chelonia mydas in the south of New Caledonia and by doing so we have linked the studied foraging ground to 7 rookeries scattered across 6 different countries of the South Pacific. These results have important management ramifications: a shared resource means shared responsibility.

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Little ravens are a voracious and superabundant predator, yet little is known of their use of habitats in space and time. Twenty ravens were radio-tracked in peri-urban Melbourne, and they used large home ranges, a variety of habitats from natural to highly developed, and some exhibited preferences for particular habitat types. Management of raven predation will have to deal with the difficulties of large, open populations of these highly adaptable and intelligent predators.

WR15108Out of sight but not out of mind: corvids prey extensively on eggs of burrow-nesting penguins

Kasun B. Ekanayake, Duncan R. Sutherland, Peter Dann and Michael A. Weston
pp. 509-517
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Corvids are common egg predators of surface and tree-nesting birds but not of burrow-nesting birds. We found that the corvid little raven (Corvus mellori) preyed intensively on eggs of a burrow-nesting little penguin (Eudyptula minor) colony in south-eastern Australia. This discovery may have implications for burrow-nesting species worldwide because many corvid populations are increasing, and adopt new foraging strategies to exploit novel prey.

WR15080Intense predation of non-colonial, ground-nesting bird eggs by corvid and mammalian predators

Kasun B. Ekanayake, Desley A. Whisson, Laura X. L. Tan and Michael A. Weston
pp. 518-528
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Identification of egg predators is critical in managing the impact on prey species that are subject to high egg predation rates. We found that the native corvid little raven (Corvus mellori) was the major egg predator, preying intensively on eggs of a ground-nesting red-capped plover (Charadrius ruficapillus) population in Australia. As corvid populations increase worldwide, their impact as egg predators especially on threatened prey species needs to be thoroughly investigated. Photograph: remote-sensing image of a little raven preying on a red-capped plover egg.

WR15104Dingo interactions with exotic mesopredators: spatiotemporal dynamics in an Australian arid-zone study

T. Schroeder, M. M. Lewis, A. D. Kilpatrick and K. E. Moseby
pp. 529-539
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This study analysed interactions between Dingoes and introduced mesopredators in arid Australia. We applied static (space) and dynamic (time and space) interaction analyses to a large GPS location data set. Our findings indicate that the apex predator creates mesopredators- free space, which manifests on a micro spatial rather than a temporal – spatial level, and therefore may provide refuge areas for threatened mammal and reptile species. Our results have large-scale implications for the conservation of threatened prey species where apex predators can suppress (introduced) mesopredators and therefore potentially benefit those threatened prey species.

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