Sport hunting pressures may affect demography and behaviour of large carnivores. We estimated densities and activity patterns of pumas in two areas and observed a greater density of pumas in a protected area than in a hunting-allowed area where pumas were also mostly nocturnal. Our results indicate that puma sport hunting should be managed at a metapopulation, regional level, and include both no-hunting areas (as potential sources), and hunting areas (as potential sinks). Photograph by Juan I. Zanón-Martínez.
Volume 43 Number 6 2016
WR16047Nesting ecology of hawksbill turtles at a rookery of international significance in Australia’s Northern Territory
Hawksbill sea turtles are critically endangered yet limited biological data is available in Australia’s Northern Territory to inform conservation plans. By analysing their reproductive behaviour we found that over 200 females nest annually on three islands off Groote Eylandt. While additional surveys are needed to estimate Australia’s nesting population size, we recommend this rookery of international significance become the main monitoring site for hawksbills in the Northern Territory. Photograph by Xavier Hoenner.
Understanding of abundance is essential for effective wildlife management. In Wyoming, USA, we conducted surveys from a small airplane in which a pair of observers independently counted pronghorn, which allowed us to estimate the proportion of pronghorn that were missed by both observers. We found that group size and vegetation cover influenced pronghorn detection rates and, by accounting for these factors, we can produce more precise estimates of pronghorn abundance. Photograph by Rich Guenzel.
WR16097Recent decline of an endangered, endemic rodent: does exclusion of disturbance play a role for Hastings River mouse (Pseudomys oralis)?
Disturbance plays a key, but varying, role in the conservation of threatened species. We resurveyed old sites for the Hastings river mouse (Pseudomys oralis) as well as new sites post-logging and found that a lack of disturbance was associated with a decline. A negative correlation was also found between P. oralis and rat abundance, consistent with the habitat accommodation model, suggesting that disturbance should be carefully incorporated into the management of this threatened species.
Foxes are a widespread pest in mixed agricultural and remnant forest habitats in southern Australia. We used VHF and GPS telemetry to track animals and found that range areas were large with little daily overlap, and that most animals were poisoned during the control programs. Understanding where and how foxes travel through the landscape will help land managers target control activities.
Introduced foxes have caused population declines in native animals around the world, but the effect of environmental variation on the impact of foxes is poorly understood. The impact of predation by foxes on ground-nesting pelicans was higher in drought years, when the prey population was low. Climate change may increase the impact of foxes on drought-sensitive waterbirds, but focussing predator-control efforts during droughts, as periods of particular risk, can ameliorate this impact. Photograph by Greg Johnston.
WR16148A systematic review of the impacts and management of introduced deer (family Cervidae) in Australia
The management of wild deer in Australia is an important, complex and costly issue. Our review of environmental and agricultural impacts of deer in Australia highlighted that (i) the type and extent of impacts on natural and agricultural ecosystems, and (ii) the efficacy of methods for mitigating impacts, has been poorly substantiated. We identified priority research areas to assist the development of cost-effective strategies for managing deer impacts. Image by Daryl Panther; supplied by the Invasive Animals CRC.