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

Wildlife Research

Volume 43 Number 3 2016

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Information on effects of culling on behaviour and stress of ungulates is scarce. We studied the effects of culling on behaviour and stress response of female fallow deer and we found that culling determined an increase of vigilance and a decrease of feeding rates. Only a short-term (24 h) increase of hormonal stress response occurred, which suggests that culling did not trigger long-term physiological effects. Photo by Francesco Ferretti.

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Diagnosing the cause of a species’ decline is one of the most challenging tasks faced by conservation practitioners. Here I adopt a methodical diagnostic framework to comprehensively evaluate potential causal factors and propose a hypothesis as to the cause of decline of the eastern quoll in Tasmania. This case study illustrates an approach by which practical species conservation problems might be solved and recovery strategies may be better informed. Photograph by Bronwyn Fancourt.

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Lethal control of wildlife populations is often controversial, particularly in peri-urban areas, but fertility control offers an acceptable, non-lethal alternative. We tested implants of two different contraceptives in a wild kangaroos: one implant (deslorelin) was ineffective but the other (levonorgestrel) successfully stopped breeding for at least 5 years. Long-term fertility control is now a realistic option for managing kangaroo populations. Photograph by Graeme Coulson.

WR15158Survival of translocated sharp-tailed grouse: temporal threshold and age effects

Steven R. Mathews, Peter S. Coates and David J. Delehanty
pp. 220-227
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An important technique for restoring grouse populations to their former range is to transport grouse from strong populations and into restored historic range. Unfortunately, re-establishment fails when translocated grouse perish in their new location. We showed that Columbian sharp-tailed grouse are especially vulnerable for 50 days following release but that yearling grouse survive at significantly higher rates than adult grouse. Photograph by Chris Tulimiero, 2014.

WR15132A review of biodiversity outcomes from possum-focused pest control in New Zealand

Andrea E. Byrom, John Innes and Rachelle N. Binny
pp. 228-253
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In New Zealand, pest control is done across ~10 million ha or about one third of the total land area, mainly to prevent losses to the primary sector from wildlife vectors of bovine tuberculosis (TB) by invasive possums. Control is done using the toxin 1080 via aerial delivery in bait, or with ground-based control using traps and/or poison. Possum control has reduced TB rates, but collateral benefits for native biodiversity have not been quantified. We reviewed information on 84 measures of native biodiversity response (including vegetation, invertebrates, lizards, frogs, and birds) from 47 studies to provide a quantitative assessment of potential benefits. Both ground and aerial control of this invasive pest have provided substantial benefits for native biota. The findings provide a strong evidence base for the impacts of invasive pests on native biota not just in New Zealand but globally, and demonstrate a major return on investment from invasive species control programmes. Photograph by Andrea Byrom.

WR15008Do indirect bite count surveys accurately represent diet selection of white-tailed deer in a forested environment?

Marcus A. Lashley, M. Colter Chitwood, Garrett M. Street, Christopher E. Moorman and Christopher S. DePerno
pp. 254-260
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Diet selection is important to understand when managing for ungulates but measuring diet selection is often expensive and time consuming. We compared a cost and time efficient method (indirect bite counts on plants) with microhistolgical surveys of diet selection. Bite counts identified most of the plants most important to the diet but was only 48% similar to microhistological diet selection.

WR16023An assessment of animal welfare for the culling of peri-urban kangaroos

Jordan O. Hampton and David M. Forsyth
pp. 261-266
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The culling of peri-urban kangaroos is increasingly common in Australia but the practice remains contentious, especially with regards to animal welfare. Quantitative assessment of a culling program revealed a very short average duration of stress for kangaroos. Peri-urban culling can produce animal welfare outcomes for kangaroo that are superior to those from many other wildlife shooting techniques. Photograph by Jordan Hampton.

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We applied spatial analysis at three spatial extents to assess how the importance of different land-cover patterns and patch characteristics surrounding leks of Caucasian grouse (CG) change with scale within the Arasbaran landscape in East Azerbaijan, Iran. The probability of lek occurrence at each of the spatial scales increases with a larger amount of open, young forests in the landscape. Photograph: lek habitat along with flying and standing posture of CG in Kalan core zone of Arasbaran biosphere reserve, 24 April 2014, by Behnam Gorbani.

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