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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: Andrea Taylor and Piran White



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Published online 22 August 2016
Modelling survival and breeding dispersal to unobservable nest sites 
Giacomo Tavecchia, Ana Sanz-Aguilar and Belinda Cannell

When studying natural populations, typically only a proportion of the nests is monitored. This leads to an underestimation of demographic parameters due to animal moving to unobservable or unmonitored nests. We illustrated a new modelling approach merging capture–recapture data of little penguin taken at artificial nests with those taken at night on the arriving beaches. Survival was 8% higher than when recaptures at artificial nests were analysed alone. The merging of different source of data can be used in any study in which only a portion of the breeding sites are monitored to obtained unbiased estimates of demographic parameters. Photograph by Leighton De Barros.

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Published online 08 August 2016
Tigers (Panthera tigris) respond to fine spatial-scale habitat factors: occupancy-based habitat association of tigers in Chitwan National Park, Nepal 
Hemanta Kafley, Matthew E. Gompper, Mandira Sharma, Babu R. Lamichane and Rupak Maharjan

Appropriate management of wide-ranging species like tiger in isolated small protected areas warrants understanding of fine-scale use of habitat. We assessed habitat use by tigers and found that their fine-scale habitat use was best predicted by preferred habitat features such as local prey availability, habitat types, distance to human settlements, and access to water. In small protected areas, wide-ranging species like tiger may persist at high population density by intensively focusing their activity on small, highly suitable portions of their home ranges. Photograph by Hemanta Kafley.

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Published online 03 August 2016
Roads, routes and rams: does sexual segregation contribute to anthropogenic risk in a desert-dwelling ungulate? 
Vernon C. Bleich, Jericho C. Whiting, John G. Kie and R. Terry Bowyer

Sexual segregation is seldom considered in the context of the effects of anthropogenic features on bighorn sheep or other mountain ungulates. We evaluated the propensity of males and females to cross a paved two-lane road and a single-lane dirt route as a function of sexual segregation. Failure to consider sexual segregation when assessing potential impacts of roadways on movements could result in missed opportunities to develop mitigation measures.

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Published online 03 August 2016
Burrow fumigation versus trapping for pocket gopher (Thomomys spp.) management: a comparison of efficacy and cost effectiveness 
Roger A. Baldwin, Ryan Meinerz and Steve B. Orloff

Several tools are available to manage pocket gophers, but data are often lacking on their efficacy and cost effectiveness. Our study determined that trapping was generally the most practical approach, although burrow fumigants are effective tools in some situations as well. These techniques can be combined into an integrated pest management program to effectively manage pocket gophers in a variety of landscapes.

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Published online 26 July 2016
Using complementary remote detection methods for retrofitted eco-passages: a case study for monitoring individual koalas in south-east Queensland 
C. E. Dexter, R. G. Appleby, J. P. Edgar, J. Scott and D. N. Jones

Koala mortality from road strike is recognised as a major threatening process for this iconic species. Using complementary monitoring technologies, we investigated whether retrofitted road structures (e.g. augmented water management structures) were utilised by koalas to safely cross roads. Our results, while encouraging, showed that only a small proportion of koalas actually utilised structures which may have conservation and management implications. Photograph by Griffith University Applied Road Ecology.

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blank image Wildlife Research
Volume 43 Number 4 2016

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Soil phosphorus predicts feral pig (Sus scrofa) occupancy, detection probability and feeding activity in a temperate montane rainforest 
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David M. Forsyth , Robert B. Allen , Roy K. J. Allen , Kathrin Affeld and Darryl I. MacKenzie
pp. 277-287

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a widespread invasive species but little is known about their habits in temperate rainforest. We used a grid of cameras to investigate how pigs used a New Zealand rainforest and found that soil phosphorus best predicted pig activity, including feeding. Our study highlights how cameras can reveal the habits of cryptic wildlife in rugged environments.

    | Supplementary Material (299 KB)

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Incubating snowy plovers (Charadrius nivosus) exhibit site-specific patterns of disturbance from human activities 
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Cara A. Faillace and Bradley W. Smith
pp. 288-297

Shorebird declines are linked to disturbance from human activities. We examined if disturbance of nesting snowy plovers varied by location or activity type and found that bird response depended on location and whether or not the approaching person was walking a dog. Buffer zones around shorebird nests must account for location and types of activities encountered, implying the need for more conservative buffers. Photograph by Hugh McLaughlin.


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Reducing the primary exposure risk of Henderson crakes (Zapornia atra) during aerial broadcast eradication by selecting appropriate bait colour 
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Steffen Oppel , Jennifer L. Lavers , Alexander L. Bond and Gavin Harrison
pp. 298-303

Removing non-native invasive species from islands is a valuable tool to protect native species, but carries the risk that some native species may be inadvertently killed in the process. We studied whether using a different colour of bait, which is typically used to eliminate invasive rats from islands, may reduce the risk to a native flightless rail species. Our results show that Henderson crakes consumed fewer blue than green bait pellets, and that selecting an appropriate bait colour could reduce the negative side-effects of a popular conservation tool. Photograph by Steffen Oppel.

    | Supplementary Material (52 KB)

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Complex demographic responses of a common small mammal to a plant invasion 
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Andrea R. Litt and Robert J. Steidl
pp. 304-312

Invasions by non-native plants alter the distribution of resources in ways that can affect the demography of animal populations. We found that the life-history strategy of a common rodent changed markedly in invaded areas relative to native grasslands. If life-history changes in response to environmental conditions are common, single demographic parameters could provide misleading measures of conservation and management activities.


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Live-capture of feral cats using tracking dogs and darting, with comparisons to leg-hold trapping 
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Hugh W. McGregor , Jordan O. Hampton , Danielle Lisle and Sarah Legge
pp. 313-322

Feral cats are often difficult to capture and/or recapture, limiting potential research on their impacts. We present an alternative capture method: using tracking dogs and darting. This technique proved more effective and efficient than soft-jaw leg-hold trapping, enabled reliable recapture of individuals and resulted in no serious injuries. Using these methods could improve the efficiency and outcomes of catching feral cats and other cryptic or rare species. Photograph by Wayne Lawer.


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Dietary overlap and co-existence of sympatric wild yak, Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan antelope in Arjin Shan National Nature Reserve, Xinjiang Province, China 
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Jianbin Shi , Feiying Lu , Xiaowen Li , Zihui Zhang , Xukun Su , Shikui Dong , Huadong Xu and Xiang Zhang
pp. 323-331

There is limited understanding of how wild yak, Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan antelope interact with each other on the Tibetan Plateau. Our study aimed to assess their dietary interaction, and found generally low dietary overlaps among them, suggesting dietary divergence. Dietary competition may have shaped their dietary divergence, contributing to their co-existence on the Plateau. Photograph by Jianbin Shi.


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Effective field-based methods to quantify personality in brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) 
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Valentina S. A. Mella , Jordan Krucler , Lakshmi Sunderasan , Jason Hawkins , Anushika P. H. M. Herath , Kyla C. Johnstone , Sandra M. Troxell-Smith , Peter B. Banks and Clare McArthur
pp. 332-340

Development of methods to quickly assess animal personality can be challenging. We describe for the first time a series of effective field-based tests to easily quantify personality traits of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). Our study can be used as a baseline for future research, when personality profiles of individual possums need to be determined for management or control strategies.


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The role of non-declining amphibian species as alternative hosts for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an amphibian community 
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Michelle P. Stockwell , Deborah S. Bower , John Clulow and Michael J. Mahony
pp. 341-347

Pathogens with reservoir hosts have been responsible for many disease-induced wildlife extinctions. This study investigated whether the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea), a threatened species highly susceptible to infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), co-occurred with reservoirs hosts and identified four species carrying infection in the absence of signs of disease. The existence of reservoir hosts in this system must therefore be considered in future threat mitigation and conservation efforts.

    | Supplementary Material (59 KB)

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Space use by female agile antechinus: are teat number and home-range size linked? 
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Juliey Beckman and Alan Lill
pp. 348-357

Female teat number varies among Antechinus agilis populations inhabiting the same general area in SE Australia in a manner possibly resulting in females with more teats producing more weaned progeny per breeding event. Using radio-tracking, we tested whether ten-teat females required a larger and/or more exclusive home range than six-teat females in which to rear their litter. Ten-teat females occupied fairly exclusive home ranges ~1.7 times larger than those of six-teat females. However, food availability was similar in ten-teat and six-teat areas, so the larger home range of ten-teat females may have been crucial in procuring sufficient food to successfully feed their larger litter.


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Population dynamics of feral horses (Equus caballus) in an exotic coniferous plantation in Australia 
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Magdalena A. Zabek , David M. Berman , Simon P. Blomberg , Christina W. Collins and John Wright
pp. 358-367

Reliable information of population dynamics is indisputably important for feral horse population management in Australia. This study investigated fecundity and age specific survival to estimate population growth rate of feral horses in a coniferous environment in south-east Queensland. Population growth rate was most sensitive to changes in adult survival; therefore, the most effective long-term management strategy would involve removal of adult horses from the population. Photograph by Magdalena Zabek.


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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.

    WR16148  Accepted 16 August 2016
    A systematic review of the impacts and management of introduced deer (Family: Cervidae) in Australia
    Naomi Davis, Ami Bennett, Dave Forsyth, David Bowman, Edward Lefroy, Samuel Wood, Andrew Woolnough, Peter West, Jordan Hampton, Chris Johnson

    WR16006  Accepted 16 August 2016
    Double observer evaluation of pronghorn aerial line transect surveys
    Timothy Smyser, Richard Guenzel, Christopher Jacques, Edward Garton

    WR16056  Accepted 10 August 2016
    Density and activity patterns of pumas in hunted and non-hunted areas in Central Argentina
    Juan Zanón Martínez, Marcella Kelly, José Mesa, José Sarasola, Clark DeHart, Alejandro Travaini

    WR16047  Accepted 10 August 2016
    Nesting ecology of hawksbill turtles at a rookery of international significance in Australia's Northern Territory
    Xavier Hoenner, Scott Whiting, Gavin Enever, Keith Lambert, Mark Hindell, Clive McMahon

    WR15203  Accepted 24 July 2016
    Ranging behaviour and movements of the red fox in remnant forest habitats
    Alison Towerton, Rodney Kavanagh, Trent Penman, Christopher Dickman

    WR15218  Accepted 16 July 2016
    Vegetation management influences habitat use by mammalian herbivores in shrub-encroached grassy woodland
    Naomi Davis, Julian Di Stefano, Graeme Coulson, Jim Whelan, John Wright

    WR15230  Accepted 11 July 2016
    An animal welfare assessment framework for helicopter darting: a case study with a newly developed method for feral horses
    Jordan Hampton, Hamish Robertson, Peter Adams, Tim Hyndman, Teresa Collins

    WR15205  Accepted 13 June 2016
    Birth-site selection and timing of births in American bison: effects of habitat and proximity to anthropogenic features
    Joshua Kaze, Jericho Whiting, Eric Freeman, Steven Bates, Randy Larsen


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 18 September 2015
The effectiveness and cost of camera traps for surveying small reptiles and critical weight range mammals: a comparison with labour-intensive complementary methods

Dustin J. Welbourne, Christopher MacGregor, David Paull and David B. Lindenmayer

2. Published 4 January 2016
Human–wildlife interactions in urban areas: a review of conflicts, benefits and opportunities

Carl D. Soulsbury and Piran C. L. White

3. Published 3 June 2016
Diagnosing species decline: a contextual review of threats,causes and future directions for management and conservation of the eastern quoll

Bronwyn A. Fancourt

4. Published 17 February 2016
Multiple cameras required to reliably detect feral cats in northern Australian tropical savanna: an evaluation of sampling design when using camera traps

Danielle Stokeld, Anke S. K. Frank, Brydie Hill, Jenni Low Choy, Terry Mahney, Alys Stevens, Stuart Young, Djelk Rangers, Warddeken Rangers and Graeme R. Gillespie

5. Published 17 February 2016
Precision, accuracy and bias of walked line-transect distance sampling to estimate eastern grey kangaroo population size

Ruth Glass, David M. Forsyth, Graeme Coulson and Marco Festa-Bianchet

6. Published 17 February 2016
Toxic Trojans: can feral cat predation be mitigated by making their prey poisonous?

J. L. Read, D. Peacock, A. F. Wayne and K. E. Moseby

7. Published 11 May 2016
Priorities for management of chytridiomycosis in Australia: saving frogs from extinction

Lee F. Skerratt, Lee Berger, Nick Clemann, Dave A. Hunter, Gerry Marantelli, David A. Newell, Annie Philips, Michael McFadden, Harry B. Hines, Ben C. Scheele, Laura A. Brannelly, Rick Speare, Stephanie Versteegen, Scott D. Cashins and Matt West

8. Published 24 August 2015
The influence of urban encroachment on squirrel gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis): effects of road density, light and noise pollution

Mitchell J. Francis, Peter G. Spooner and Alison Matthews

9. Published 9 November 2015
Dingo interactions with exotic mesopredators: spatiotemporal dynamics in an Australian arid-zone study

T. Schroeder, M. M. Lewis, A. D. Kilpatrick and K. E. Moseby

10. Published 18 September 2015
Spatially explicit capture–recapture analysis of bobcat (Lynx rufus) density: implications for mesocarnivore monitoring

Daniel H. Thornton and Charles E. Pekins

11. Published 4 January 2016
A cross-continental look at the patterns of avian species diversity and composition across an urbanisation gradient

Barbara Clucas and John M. Marzluff

12. Published 6 July 2016
Live-capture of feral cats using tracking dogs and darting, with comparisons to leg-hold trapping

Hugh W. McGregor, Jordan O. Hampton, Danielle Lisle and Sarah Legge

13. Published 24 August 2015
Feral cat diet and predation on endangered endemic mammals on a biodiversity hot spot (Amami–Ohshima Island, Japan)

Kazumi Shionosaki, Fumio Yamada, Takuya Ishikawa and Shozo Shibata

14. Published 30 March 2016
Soft-release versus hard-release for reintroduction of an endangered species: an experimental comparison using eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii)

Jasmine de Milliano, Julian Di Stefano, Peter Courtney, Peter Temple-Smith and Graeme Coulson

15. Published 17 February 2016
Amplified predation after fire suppresses rodent populations in Australia’s tropical savannas

Lily Leahy, Sarah M. Legge, Katherine Tuft, Hugh W. McGregor, Leon A. Barmuta, Menna E. Jones and Christopher N. Johnson

16. Published 17 February 2016
Ground penetrating radar as a non-invasive tool to better understand the population dynamics of a fossorial species: mapping the warrens of southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons)

Michael J. Swinbourne, David A. Taggart, Elisa Sparrow, Michael Hatch and Bertram Ostendorf

17. Published 18 September 2015
Assessing capture and tagging methods for brolgas, Antigone rubicunda (Gruidae)

Inka Veltheim, Felipe Chavez-Ramirez, Richard Hill and Simon Cook

18. Published 3 June 2016
A review of biodiversity outcomes from possum-focused pest control in New Zealand

Andrea E. Byrom, John Innes and Rachelle N. Binny

19. Published 30 March 2016
Predation by feral cats key to the failure of a long-term reintroduction of the western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville)

Jeff Short

20. Published 9 November 2015
Space use by resident and transient coyotes in an urban–rural landscape mosaic

Numi Mitchell, Michael W. Strohbach, Ralph Pratt, Wendy C. Finn and Eric G. Strauss

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