Contraction in the range of Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) in Western Australia: a comparative assessment using presence-only and presence–absence datasets
Blair C. Parsons A B D , Jeff C. Short C and J. Dale Roberts B
A CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia.
B School of Animal Biology M092, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
C Wildlife Research and Management Pty Ltd, PO Box 1360, Kalamunda, WA 6926, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
Emu 108(3) 221-231 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MU08002
Submitted: 21 January 2008 Accepted: 30 April 2008 Published: 8 August 2008
As human impacts on habitat increase in their intensity and scale it is increasingly important that we are able to characterise and monitor changes in the distribution of threatened species. The Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) is listed as vulnerable in Australia and the National Recovery Plan suggests that its range has contracted by 45% in Western Australia (WA). We quantified changes in the range of Malleefowl in WA and determined the relative influence that various threatening processes, such as land clearing and agricultural development, may have had on its range. We also investigated whether presence-only data (from existing survey and reporting) could reliably assess the status of Malleefowl by comparing presence-only data with presence–absence data. To obtain a presence–absence dataset we interviewed long-term residents within our study area of 64 000 km2 about the occurrence of Malleefowl. The range of Malleefowl has contracted in WA but this contraction is less substantial than previously claimed. The contraction in range within the agricultural landscapes of south-western WA is associated with the extent of land clearing, the number of years since commencement of agricultural activity, and the number of sheep within a landscape. To conserve Malleefowl, we believe landscapes developed for agriculture in recent decades must be protected to ensure they do not develop attributes found in landscapes that have been heavily cleared and occupied since the early 1900s.
Five (or so) challenges for species distribution modelling.
Journal of Biogeography
Notes on the supposed “extinct” birds of the south-west corner of Western Australia.
Notes on the mound-building birds of Australia.
Spatial prediction of species distribution: an interface between ecological theory and statistical modelling.
Current approaches to modelling the environmental niche of eucalypts: implication for management of forest biodiversity.
Forest Ecology and Management
Australian Bureau of Statistics (1998). Agricultural Census. (Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra). Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/dossbytitle/AD7C6DD1D14FB809CA256BD000272737?OpenDocument [Verified 23 July 2008].
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003). Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2001-02. (Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra). Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3218.02001-02?OpenDocument [Verified 23 July 2008].
Australian State of the Environment Committee (2001). ‘Australia State of the Environment 2001.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)
Barrett G. W., Silcocks A., Barry S., Cunningham R., and Poulter R. (2003). ‘The New Atlas of Australian Birds.’ (Birds Australia: Melbourne.)
Benshemesh J. (1992). The conservation ecology of Malleefowl with particular regard to fire. Ph.D. Thesis, Monash University, Clayton, Vic.
Benshemesh J. (2000). ‘National Recovery Plan for Malleefowl.’ (South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage: Adelaide.) Available at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/malleefowl/index.html [Verified 23 July 2008].
Blakers M., Davies S. J. J. F., and Reilly P. (1984). ‘The Atlas of Australian Birds.’ (Melbourne University Press: Melbourne.)
Booth D. T. (1985). Ecological physiology of Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Adelaide, SA.
Bowman D. M. J. S. (2003). Australian landscape burning: a continental and evolutionary perspective. In ‘Fire in Ecosystems of South-west Western Australia: Impacts and Management’. (Eds I. Abbott and N. D. Burrows.) pp. 107–118. (Backhuys Publishers: Leiden, the Netherlands.)
Brickhill J. (1987). The conservation status of Malleefowl in New South Wales. M. Nat. Res. Sci. Thesis, University of New England, Armidale, NSW.
Patterns in modern decline of Western Australia’s vertebrate fauna: causes and conservation implications.
Burbidge A. H. (2003). Birds and fire in the Mediterranean climate of south-west Western Australia. In ‘Fire in Ecosystems of South-west Western Australia: Impacts and Management’. (Eds I. Abbott and N. D. Burrows.) pp. 321–347. (Backhuys Publishers: Leiden, the Netherlands.)
Bureau of Meteorology (2007). Average annual and monthly rainfall. (Bureau of Meteorology: Canberra). Available at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/map/rainfall/IDCJCM0004_rainfall.shtml [Verified 23 July 2008].
Bureau of Rural Sciences (2006). Land use mapping for Australia. (Bureau of Rural Science: Canberra). Available at http://adl.brs.gov.au/mapserv/landuse/ [Verified 23 July 2008].
Burnham K. P., and Anderson D. R. (2002). ‘Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information-theoretic Approach.’ (Springer: New York.)
Burvill G. H. (1979). ‘Agriculture in Western Australia 1829–1979.’ (UWA Press: Nedlands, WA).
The birds of the Lake Grace district.
On the birds of Dirk Hartog Island and Peron Peninsula.
Birds of the Broome Hill district.
Directions in conservation biology.
Journal of Animal Ecology
Birds seen at Cumminin Station, Western Australia.
A review of terrestrial bird atlases of the world and their application.
Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data.
Broad-scale spatial prediction of areas at risk from dryland salinity.
Why have birds in the woodlands of Southern Australia declined?
The importance of land-use legacies to ecology and conservation.
Temperature regulation in the nesting mounds of the mallee-fowl, Leipoa ocellata Gould.
Conservation of the mallee fowl, Leipoa ocellata Gould (Megapodiidae).
Garnett S., and Crowley G. (2000). ‘The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000.’ (Environment Australia: Canberra.)
New developments in museum-based informatics and applications in biodiversity analysis.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Density and distribution of emus.
Density and distribution of the Australian bustard (Ardeotis australis).
Hastie T. J., and Tibshirani R. J. (1990). ‘Generalized Additive Models.’ (Chapman and Hall: London.)
A. J. M.
From frontier to fragments: European impact on Australia’s vegetation.
Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia
Hobbs R. J., Saunders D. A., Lobry de Bruyn L. A., and Main A. R. (1993). Changes in biota. In ‘Reintegrating Fragmented Landscapes: Towards Sustainable Production and Nature Conservation’. (Eds R. J. Hobbs and D. A. Saunders.) pp. 65–106. (Springer-Verlag: New York.)
An experimental study of declining populations.
Jarvis N. (1986). ‘Western Australia: An Atlas of Human Endeavour.’ (Department of Lands and Surveys: Perth.)
Landmonitor (2004). Landmonitor products: vegetation extent and change. (Landmonitor: Perth.) Available at http://www.landmonitor.wa.gov.au/default.aspx?id=5#veg_change [Verified 23 July 2008].
GRASP: generalized regression analysis and spatial prediction.
Incorporating habitat mapping into practical koala conservation on private lands.
McKenzie N. L., and May J. E. (2003). ‘A Biodiversity Audit of Western Australia’s Biogeographical Subregions in 2002.’ (Department of Conservation and Land Management: Kensington, WA.)
Notes on a trip to the Wongan Hills, Western Australia, with a description of a new Ptilotis.
The impact of European settlement on the vertebrate animals of arid Australia: a conceptual model.
Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia
National Land and Water Resources Audit (2001). Australian Native Vegetation Assessment 2001. National Land and Water Resources Audit. Land and Water Australia, Canberra, ACT.
On a collection of birds from Western Australia with field notes by Mr G.C. Shortridge – Part II.
Effect of age at release on the susceptibility of captive-reared malleefowl Leipoa ocellata to predation by the introduced fox Vulpes vulpes.
Nesting activity and demography of an isolated population of Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata).
Does the integrity or structure of mallee habitat influence the degree of Fox predation on Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata)?
Modelling habitat-suitability using museum collections: an example with three sympatric Apodemus species from the Alps.
Journal of Biogeography
Wordbirds: developing a web-based data collection system for the global monitoring of bird distribution and abundance.
Biodiversity and Conservation
Changes in the avifauna of a region, district, and remnant as a result of fragmentation of native vegetation: the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. A case study.
Saunders D. A., and Ingram J. A. (1995). ‘Birds of Southwestern Australia: An Atlas of Changes in the Distribution and Abundance of Wheatbelt Avifauna.’ (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)
Changes in a remnant of salmon gum Eucalyptus salmonophloia and York gum E. loxophleba woodland, 1978 to 1997. Implications for woodland conservation in the wheat-sheep regions of Australia.
Serventy D. L., and Whittell H. M. (1976). ‘Birds of Western Australia.’ (University of Western Australia Press: Perth.)
The role of natural history collections in documenting species declines.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution
The extinction of rat-kangaroos (Marsupialia : Potoroidae) in New South Wales, Australia.
The distribution and abundance of the burrowing bettong (Marsupialia : Macropodoidea).
The influence of land-use history on roadside conservation values in an Australian agricultural landscape.
Australian Journal of Botany
Storr G. M. (1991). Birds of the South-western Division of Western Australia. In ‘Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 35’. (Western Australian Museum: Perth.)
J. C. Z.
Impact and response: a review of the effects of fire on the Australian avifauna.
Pacific Conservation Biology
Grazing effects on plant cover, soil and microclimate in fragmented woodlands in south-western Australia: implications for restoration.