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Wildlife Research
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  Ecology, Management and Conservation in Natural and Modified Habitats
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Wildlife Research covers all major aspects of the ecology, management and conservation of wild animals in natural and modified habitats. More

Editors: Stan Boutin, Andrea Taylor and Piran White


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Published online 10 July 2014
Floodplain amphibian abundance: responses to flooding and habitat type in Barmah Forest, Murray River, Australia 
Heather M. McGinness, Anthony D. Arthur, Keith A. Ward and Paula A. Ward

Information on the drivers of frog presence and abundance is required to support adaptive management of floodplain wetlands and associated water resources. This study uses data from 6 years of surveys at Barmah Forest to explore how flood frequency, flood timing and habitat type affect resident frog species. It emphasises the value of well-vegetated grassy wetlands and managed flooding for maintenance of frog communities and identifies knowledge gaps to drive future data collection for improved modelling. Photograph by Keith Ward.

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Published online 27 June 2014
Daily food intake of free-ranging wild rabbits in semiarid South Australia 
B. D. Cooke

Although introduced rabbits are a major pest in Australia, the quality and amount of food eaten in the wild is poorly documented. Data on the quality of food from stomachs of shot rabbits and daily water turnover, measured using dilution of tritiated water in caged and free-living rabbits, were reviewed to resolve this problem. The results will enable the impact of wild rabbits on agricultural production and native vegetation to be better quantified. Photograph by SA Lands Department.

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Published online 20 June 2014
First in, first served: uptake of 1080 poison fox baits in south-west Western Australia 
Shannon J. Dundas, Peter J. Adams and Patricia A. Fleming

Distribution of 1080 baits is an important management tool for the control of foxes. However, little is known about the fate of ground-laid baits. Of 100 known-fate baits monitored with cameras, 99 were taken by non-target species, while 95% of 299 baits monitored for presence/absence had been removed by day 7. The high rates of non-target interference with baits observed are likely to reduce opportunities for foxes to find and consume baits, which should be considered in fox control programs. Photograph by Shannon Dundas.

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Published online 06 June 2014
Kill rates by rabbit hunters before and 16 years after introduction of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in the southern South Island, New Zealand 
Carlos Rouco, Grant Norbury and Dave Ramsay

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is the only successful biological control of a vertebrate pest in New Zealand since it was illegally introduced in 1997, but its effects on rabbit populations have been determined largely by one method – spotlight counts. Twenty-three years of data from a region-wide hunting competition suggests the disease is still killing rabbits but its effects are waning. This use of ‘citizen science’ to understand the effects of a major wildlife disease will help to improve future rabbit-management strategies. Photograph by Carlos Rouco.

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Published online 03 June 2014
Quantitative analysis of animal-welfare outcomes in helicopter shooting: a case study with feral dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) 
Jordan O. Hampton, Brendan D. Cowled, Andrew L. Perry, Corissa J. Miller, Bidda Jones and Quentin Hart

Helicopter shooting is an important management tool for large invasive mammals, but uncertainty regarding the humaneness of the practice has seen its popularity decline. This study quantified animal welfare outcomes for the helicopter shooting of feral dromedary camels and identified factors explaining these outcomes. The humaneness and societal acceptance of future wildlife shooting programs could be improved by applying scientific evaluation to contexts that remain contentious. Photograph by Corissa Miller.

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Published online 30 May 2014
Usefulness of two bioeconomic frameworks for evaluation of community-initiated species conservation projects 
Christopher Jones and Les McNamara

We evaluated two existing bioeconomic tools, the Project Prioritisation Protocol and INFFER, in guiding funding decisions and in guiding project design for community-led conservation projects. Both provide quantitative, transparent processes for the relative evaluation and ranking of competing projects by funders, but are sensitive to species and/or asset valuation and benefit estimates, so users should not accept scores and project rankings uncritically. Their use encourages community groups to document costs, conservation benefits and risks and to develop specific and measurable management outcomes. Photograph by Marie Haley.

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    | Supplementary Material (1.8 MB)
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blank image Wildlife Research
Volume 41 Number 1 2014

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Fertility control to mitigate human–wildlife conflicts: a review 
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Giovanna Massei and Dave Cowan
pp. 1-21

Public opposition to lethal methods to resolve human–wildlife conflicts has led to an increasing demand for non-lethal options, such as fertility control, to manage wildlife. The present review analysed trends in research on fertility control for wildlife, illustrated developments in fertility-control technologies and delivery methods of fertility-control agents, and summarised the results of studies of fertility control applied at the population level. The results indicate that fertility control, particularly of isolated populations, can be successfully used to limit population growth and reduce human-wildlife conflicts and that criteria to determine whether fertility control should be used should include public consultation, considerations about animal welfare and feasibility, evaluation of population responses, costs and sustainability. Photograph by Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.


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Extinction in Eden: identifying the role of climate change in the decline of the koala in south-eastern NSW 
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Daniel Lunney , Eleanor Stalenberg , Truly Santika and Jonathan R. Rhodes
pp. 22-34

There was once enough koalas in south-eastern NSW to support a pelt trade, but they are now rare. This study has demonstrated that drought and rising temperatures – manifestations of climate change – have progressively compounded the recognised threats to koalas from an increasing human population and habitat loss. At the local level, there is a need for adaptation strategies for individual species, such as koalas, through local plans of management in response to the challenges of climate change. Photograph by Daniel Lunney.


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Estimates of abundance and apparent survival of coastal dolphins in Port Essington harbour, Northern Territory, Australia 
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Carol Palmer , Lyndon Brooks , Guido J. Parra , Tracey Rogers , Debra Glasgow and John C. Z. Woinarski
pp. 35-45

There are serious global conservation concerns for inshore dolphin species, but the status of species in north Australian waters is poorly understood. Over a 2.9-year period, we estimated population size of the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni), humpback (Sousa sp.) and bottlenose (Tursiops sp.) at a remote and largely unmodified site in the Northern Territory, Australia. This study contributes to a better understanding of the conservation status of these three species, provides one of the few benchmarks against which population size in impacted areas can be compared, and will help guide methodologies for environmental impact assessments for the projected rapid development of much of the north Australian coastline. Photograph by Carol Palmer.


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Recolonisation of rabbit warrens following coordinated ripping programs in Victoria, south-eastern Australia 
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D. S. L. Ramsey , S. R. McPhee , D. M. Forsyth , I. G. Stuart , M. P. Scroggie , M. Lindeman and J. Matthews
pp. 46-55

The destruction of warrens of the European rabbit has been shown to be one of the most effective methods for their control. Recolonisation of ripped warrens was shown to be highly influenced by both the distance to, and size of, neighbouring active warrens. The efficacy of ripping programs for long-term control of rabbits could be increased by adopting an adaptive monitoring program incorporating warren size and spatial relationships among warrens to better target maintenance-control activities. Photograph by Ivor Stuart.

    | Supplementary Material (2 MB)

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Is quantity or quality of food influencing the reproduction of rice-field rats in the Philippines? 
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Nyo Me Htwe and Grant R. Singleton
pp. 56-63

An increase in breeding performance of rodents is often the main reason populations reach high densities. The association between the quality and quantity of food and the reproductive success of female rats in the Philippines were examined and we found that the extension of the growing season provides high-quality food for rodents and the availability of spilled rice grain at the stubble stage is a source of good-quality food for pregnant and lactating females. Synchronous planting with good post-harvest management of rice stubble are important to prevent high population densities of rice-field rats. Photograph by Nyo Me Htwe.

    | Supplementary Material (1.9 MB)

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Locating species range frontiers: a cost and efficiency comparison of citizen science and hair-tube survey methods for use in tracking an invasive squirrel 
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Emily A. Goldstein , Colin Lawton , Emma Sheehy and Fidelma Butler
pp. 64-75

Accurately tracking the range expansion of invasive species is critical as biological invasions increase worldwide. We were able to compare the cost-effectiveness and suitability of a basic citizen science sighting survey and a traditional field survey for monitoring the expanding grey squirrel range frontier in Ireland. Citizen science survey methods have the potential to be a valuable resource for mapping and managing species invasions. Photograph by Sarah Woodruff.

    | Supplementary Material (1.8 MB)

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Expenditure and motivation of Australian recreational hunters 
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Neal Finch , Peter Murray , Julia Hoy and Greg Baxter
pp. 76-83

We developed and administered an anonymous online survey to understand the characteristics of Australian hunters. Slightly more than 7200 respondents began the survey and 94% completed it. Respondents were overwhelmingly male. Residents of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria accounted for more than 82% of all respondents. Average annual expenditure on hunting was slightly less than A$4000, which among survey participants amounted to almost A$30 million. Hunters expressed a desire to assist in various pest- and land-management practices. Photograph by Matthew Godson.


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Overcoming the challenges of measuring the abundance of a cryptic macropod: is a qualitative approach good enough? 
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Karlene Bain , Adrian Wayne and Roberta Bencini
pp. 84-93

A rapid survey of relative abundance, using indicators of activity, has been widely used to monitor quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) in south west Western Australia. The relative abundances obtained with this technique were compared with population abundances obtained using mark–recapture methods and were found to over-estimate population size. This paper presents an alternative method for estimating population size based on faecal pellet counts that provides a reliable, rapid and inexpensive survey option that is potentially applicable to any cryptic, rare or mobile species. Photograph by Karlene Bain.


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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    WR14052  Accepted 20 July 2014
    Interactions between the superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) and fire in south-eastern Australia
    Daniel Nugent, Steven Leonard, Michael Clarke

    WR14050  Accepted 20 July 2014
    Responses of red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) to windrows of woody debris along forest-clearcut edges
    Tom Sullivan, Druscilla Sullivan

    WR13202  Accepted 05 July 2014
    Effects of coordinated poison baiting programs on survival and abundance in two red fox populations
    Andrew Bengsen

    WR14005  Accepted 03 July 2014
    Are life history strategies of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and House mice (Mus musculus) dependent on environmental characteristics?
    María Victoria Vadell, Isabel Gómez Villafañe, Regino Cavia

    WR14035  Accepted 30 June 2014
    Effects of a GnRH vaccine on the movement and activity of free-living wild boar (Sus scrofa)
    Roger Quy, Giovanna Massei, Mark Lambert, Julia Coats, Lowell Miller, Dave Cowan

    WR13205  Accepted 26 June 2014
    Factors influencing occurrence of a freshwater turtle in an urban landscape: a resilient species?
    Danielle Stokeld, Andrew Hamer, Rodney van der Ree, Vincent Pettigrove, Graeme Gillespie

    WR14033  Accepted 23 June 2014
    Is Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax survival and breeding success closely linked to the abundance of European Rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus?
    Jerry Olsen, Brian Cooke, Susan Trost, David Judge

    WR13220  Accepted 24 February 2014
    Information on population trends and biological constraints from bat counts in roost cavities: a twenty two-year case study of an hibernaculum of Pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Schreber).
    Christian Kerbiriou, Jean François Julien, Sophie Monsarrat, Philippe Lustrat, Alexandre Haquart, Alexandre Robert

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 26 September 2013
A cost-effective and informative method of GPS tracking wildlife

Blake M. Allan, John P. Y. Arnould, Jennifer K. Martin and Euan G. Ritchie

2. Published 13 November 2013
Effectiveness of commercial harvesting in controlling feral-pig populations

Matthew Gentle and Anthony Pople

3. Published 25 March 2014
Continuous monitoring of feeding by koalas highlights diurnal differences in tree preferences

Karen J. Marsh, Ben D. Moore, Ian R. Wallis and William J. Foley

4. Published 26 September 2013
Characteristics of refugia used by the threatened Australian growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) during a prolonged drought

Nick Clemann, Michael P. Scroggie, Michael J. Smith, Garry N. L. Peterson and David Hunter

5. Published 13 November 2013
When deer must die: large uncertainty surrounds changes in deer abundance achieved by helicopter- and ground-based hunting in New Zealand forests

David M. Forsyth, David S. L. Ramsey, Clare J. Veltman, Robert B. Allen, Will J. Allen, Richard J. Barker, Chris L. Jacobson, Simon J. Nicol, Sarah J. Richardson and Charles R. Todd

6. Published 26 September 2013
Deslorelin implants in free-ranging female eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus): mechanism of action and contraceptive efficacy

Michelle E. Wilson, Graeme Coulson, Geoff Shaw and Marilyn B. Renfree

7. Published 26 September 2013
Are there habitat thresholds in koala occupancy in the semiarid landscapes of the Mulgalands Bioregion?

Andrew G. Smith, Clive McAlpine, Jonathan Rhodes, Leonie Seabrook, Daniel Lunney and Greg Baxter

8. Published 26 September 2013
Marine turtle nest depredation by feral pigs (Sus scrofa) on the Western Cape York Peninsula, Australia: implications for management

Poppy A. Whytlaw, Will Edwards and Bradley C. Congdon

9. Published 10 February 2014
Slow recruitment in a red-fox population following poison baiting: a non-invasive mark–recapture analysis

Oliver Berry, Jack Tatler, Neil Hamilton, Steffi Hilmer, Yvette Hitchen and Dave Algar

10. Published 26 September 2013
Response of a cryptic apex predator to a complete urban to forest gradient

Bronwyn Isaac, John White, Daniel Ierodiaconou and Raylene Cooke

11. Published 22 May 2014
Extinction in Eden: identifying the role of climate change in the decline of the koala in south-eastern NSW

Daniel Lunney, Eleanor Stalenberg, Truly Santika and Jonathan R. Rhodes

12. Published 22 May 2014
Fertility control to mitigate human–wildlife conflicts: a review

Giovanna Massei and Dave Cowan

13. Published 22 May 2014
Expenditure and motivation of Australian recreational hunters

Neal Finch, Peter Murray, Julia Hoy and Greg Baxter

14. Published 10 February 2014
Differences in brushtail possum home-range characteristics among sites of varying habitat and population density

Belinda I. Whyte, James G. Ross and Helen M. Blackie

15. Published 25 March 2014
Aerially deployed baits in the northern rangelands of Western Australia are available to wild dogs

Malcolm S. Kennedy, Ken Rose and Gary Martin

16. Published 26 September 2013
Factors influencing detection probabilities of frogs in the monsoonal tropics of northern Australia: implications for the design of monitoring studies

P. L. Dostine, S. J. Reynolds, A. D. Griffiths and G. R. Gillespie

17. Published 13 November 2013
Response of eastern pygmy possums, Cercartetus nanus, to selective logging in New South Wales: home range, habitat selection and den use

Bradley Law, Mark Chidel, Alf Britton and Traecey Brassil

18. Published 26 September 2013
Is the reptile community affected by Eucalyptus wandoo tree condition?

T. L. Moore, L. E. Valentine, M. D. Craig, G. E. S. J. Hardy and P. A. Fleming

19. Published 26 September 2013
Modelling the effectiveness of vaccination in controlling bovine tuberculosis in wild boar

Lucy G. Anderson, Christian Gortázar, Joaquin Vicente, Michael R. Hutchings and Piran C. L. White

20. Published 13 November 2013
Nocturnal distance sampling of a Mediterranean population of fallow deer is consistent with population projections

Stefano Focardi, Barbara Franzetti and Francesca Ronchi

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