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

Wildlife Research

Volume 43 Number 1 2016

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Soft-release measures have commonly been used for reintroductions of endangered species, yet they are rarely experimentally tested for effectiveness in improving reintroduction success. We tested an acclimatisation soft-release against a hard-release control group for the eastern barred bandicoot Perameles gunnii [mainland subspecies], which relies on reintroduction for its survival, and found that despite some differences between the groups, soft-release did not confer a substantive advantage to establishing bandicoots. Our study suggests that a hard-release may be suitable for future releases of this species and contributes to a broader understanding of the usefulness of soft-releases in reintroductions. Photographer: Jasmine de Milliano.

WR15124Western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) include fauna underpasses in their home range

Paul D. Chachelle, Brian K. Chambers, Roberta Bencini and Shane K. Maloney
pp. 13-19

Fenced roads can have significant impacts on the ability of large mammals, such as kangaroos, to move about the landscape. We studied the use of three fauna underpasses by western grey kangaroos and their home ranges and found that kangaroos frequently used the largest underpass, but this did not impact home range size. Our results show that the fencing of roads and the provision of underpasses can make roads safer for both motorists and kangaroos.

WR15028Cooperative hunting between humans and domestic dogs in eastern and northern Australia

Jessica Sparkes, Guy Ballard and Peter J. S. Fleming
pp. 20-26
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Dogs are commonly used in the pursuit of pest and game animals, but our knowledge on how these dogs interact with target and non-target wildlife, and their potential to transmit zoonotic diseases is limited. Through the use of a questionnaire, we found that hunters frequently travelled large distances with their dogs, while encounters with non-target animals, including wild dogs were common. Because of the distances travelled and high encounter rates, hunters could assist in the early detection of exotic disease incursions through reporting unusual behaviour and collecting samples.

Artificial lights on sea turtle nesting beaches disrupt the sea-finding behaviour of sea turtle hatchlings, but the manufacture of ‘turtle-friendly’ lights may mitigate this problem. We tested whether ‘turtle-friendly’ lights disrupted the sea-finding ability of logger turtle hatchlings and found that ‘turtle-friendly’ lights disrupted hatchling ability, particularly on moonless nights. Because the sea turtle visual spectrum completely encompasses the human visual spectrum, it appears that no ‘human-useful’ lights are available that will not also disrupt sea-finding behaviour of sea turtle hatchlings.

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Reintroduction is a key management activity to restore mammal species within Australia, but there are few long-term case studies.Western barred bandicoots were reintroduced to an arid coastal site in Western Australia in 1996 to establish the first mainland population in over 60 years. Subsequent establishment and trend were monitored to 2010, revealing the response of the population to key challenges: predation, extreme drought, and loss of shelter to rabbits. The study highlights the difficulties of maintaining management over the long-term for species that require ongoing active intervention, particularly control of exotic predators. Photograph by Jeff Short.

WR15183The relationship between physiological stress and wildlife disease: consequences for health and conservation

Stephanie Hing, Edward J. Narayan, R. C. Andrew Thompson and Stephanie S. Godfrey
pp. 51-60

Stress may influence patterns of infectious disease in wildlife populations, with consequences for biodiversity conservation, animal and human health. However, few studies have examined wildlife stress and infection parameters in parallel. We outline the importance of monitoring and managing stress and infectious disease in wildlife and discuss approaches for future investigation.

WR15126Potential impacts of poison baiting for introduced house mice on native animals on islands in Jurien Bay, Western Australia

Clifford Bennison, J. Anthony Friend, Timothy Button, Harriet Mills, Cathy Lambert and Roberta Bencini
pp. 61-68

House mice (Mus domesticus) are present on Boullanger and Whitlock islands, Western Australia, and could potentially threaten populations of the dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) and grey-bellied dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer) through competition for resources. This study found that poison baiting could effectively eradicate mice from Boullanger and Whitlock islands but not without mortality for dibblers. There was no evidence of bait acceptance by grey-bellied dunnarts. Non-target species, such as dibblers, would need to be temporarily removed from the islands before the application of baits.

There is potential to enhance recreational hunting experiences by managing the resource to satisfy the aspirations of hunters’ diverse preferences. A choice experiment identified significantly different objectives for three groups of hunters. The current open-access hunting regime undermines the ability of hunters to realise their aspirations, providing the opportunity to add value by management of sika deer and sika deer hunting to meet the needs of the three groups identified by the research.

WR14256Managing coniferous production forests towards bat conservation

Maria João Ramos Pereira, Filipa Peste, Anabela Paula, Pedro Pereira, Joana Bernardino, José Vieira, Carlos Bastos, Miguel Mascarenhas, Hugo Costa and Carlos Fonseca
pp. 80-92
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Threatened worldwide, forest bats are important providers of ecosystems services, thus understanding the effects of forest management actions on their activity is fundamental for the implementation of sustainable forestry practices. By evaluating bat species richness and activity concomitantly with their prey availability in plots with distinct management schemes we suggest management actions for coniferous production forests. The adoption of more sustainable forestry practices that support bat populations benefits from the build up of scientifically knowledge of their efficacy.

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