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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 01 July 2015
Human–wildlife interactions in urban areas: a review of conflicts, benefits and opportunities 
Carl D. Soulsbury and Piran C. L. White

There is a pressing need to understand the type and nature of human–wildlife interactions within urban environments, to help manage, mitigate or even promote these interactions. There is an inherent bias in the literature towards quantifying and assessing human–wildlife conflict, whereas the benefit wildlife brings to urban areas is poorly characterised, but includes benefits such as ecosystem services and through to health and wellbeing. Research is critically needed to improve our understanding in this area, requiring wildlife biologists to work with other research disciplines.

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Published online 29 June 2015
What drives cat-owner behaviour? First steps towards limiting domestic-cat impacts on native wildlife 
Edith MacDonald, Taciano Milfont and Michael Gavin

Reducing the impact of domestic cats on native wildlife is important for conservation gains. Based on a theoretical framework, we identified the key beliefs of cat owners that may facilitate owners to keep cats inside at night. We suggest future advocacy campaigns should use veterinarians as advocates and emphasise the benefits to the cat and the owner of being inside.

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Published online 26 June 2015
Monitoring the use of road-crossing structures by arboreal marsupials: insights gained from motion-triggered cameras and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags 
Kylie Soanes, Peter A. Vesk and Rodney van der Ree

Wildlife crossing structures aim to reduce the negative effects of roads and traffic on wildlife by providing safe crossing locations. We monitored crossing structures for arboreal marsupials, canopy bridges and glider poles, to see how often animals crossed and how many individuals used the structure. We found five species crossing the structures, with some individuals crossing almost every night to access resources on either side of the freeway. Methods that identify the individuals using a crossing structure can offer insights into the likely effects on wildlife populations and should be widely adopted in future research. Photograph by Kylie Soanes.

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Published online 17 June 2015
The temporal multimodal influence of optical and auditory cues on the repellent behavior of ring-billed gulls (Larus delewarensis) 
Caitlin A. Lecker, Michael H. Parsons, Daniel R. Lecker, Ronald J. Sarno and Faith E. Parsons

Most pest animals quickly habituate (learn to ignore) to repellents. Therefore, we investigated whether combination- repellents such as lasers and distress calls could be combined into a single repellent to which ring-billed gulls would not quickly habituate. Our results showed that gulls habituated less quickly to combination repellents than to either type of single repellent used on its own. This multi-modal approach may be useful in repelling other pest-species. Photograph by Caitlin Lecker.

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Published online 10 June 2015
Good neighbours: distribution of black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) in an urban environment 
Bruno Teixeira, Andre Hirsch, Vinicius D. L. R. Goulart, Luiza Passos, Camila P. Teixeira, Philip James and Robert Young

The increasing growth of human urban populations leads to complex alterations of landscapes, the effects of which on wildlife are not fully understood. The way wildlife responds to such impacts is an important aspect to be considered in urban planning and management. We found that marmoset groups were found in green areas surrounded by highly populated areas; however, socioeconomical factors were significantly related to the occurrence of primate groups.

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Published online 10 June 2015
A model for assessing mammal contribution of Escherichia coli to a Texas floodplain 
Israel D. Parker, Roel R. Lopez, Raghupathy Karthikeyan, Nova J. Silvy, Donald S. Davis and James C. Cathey

We constructed a model based upon study area- and literature-derived data in order to provide insight into free-ranging mammal impacts on water quality in Texas, USA. We found that raccoons and Virginia opossums were the largest impactors on projected E. coli loads in study floodplains. Changes in E. coli survival, E. coli concentration in raccoon faecal material, and defaecation rates were critically important; thus, emphasizing the need for additional research of these variables.

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Published online 10 June 2015
Is fire a threatening process for Liopholis kintorei, a nationally listed threatened skink? 
Danae Moore, Michael Ray Kearney, Rachel Paltridge, Steve McAlpin and Adam Stow

The great desert skink, Liopholis kintorei, is a large, social, burrow constructing skink that has recently experienced population declines and local extinctions. We examined the effect of fire on burrow-system occupancy and breeding success at different spatial and temporal scales and found that fire adversely affects L. kintorei. We recommend prescribed-burning practices that aim to maximise ground cover by reducing the frequency, intensity and size of fires within L. kintorie habitat. Photograph by Josef Schofield/AWC.

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Published online 10 June 2015
Density and home range of feral cats in north-western Australia 
Hugh W. McGregor, Sarah Legge, Joanne Potts, Menna E. Jones and Christopher N. Johnson

We provide estimates of density and home range of feral cats in north-western Australia. We used infrared camera arrays with spatial mark–recapture, and GPS collars deployed on 32 cats. Photograph by Hugh McGregor.

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Published online 11 March 2015
Boldness and urban dwelling in little ravens 
Aaron Vines and Alan Lill

To successfully inhabit cities, birds must be inherently able or learn to cope with high volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This study showed that urban little ravens were much more tolerant of approaches by pedestrians than their exurban counterparts, but urban individuals living in high- and low-volume traffic areas varied little in their tolerance of human proximity and a simulated vehicle sound. A high level of boldness appears to be important in facilitating urban-living by native little ravens and may be genetically and/or learning-based.

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blank image Wildlife Research
Volume 42 Number 2 2015
Rodent Ecology, Behaviour and Management

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A meeting of mice and men: rodent impacts on food security, human diseases and wildlife conservation; ecosystem benefits; fascinating biological models 
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Grant R. Singleton, Jens Jacob, Charles J. Krebs and Ara Monadjem
pp. 83-85

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The ecological impacts of commensal species: black rats, Rattus rattus, at the urban–bushland interface 
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Peter B. Banks and Helen M. Smith
pp. 86-97

Cities share a distinct group of animals such as rats, pigeons and cockroaches that have evolved to live off human resources. We explore when, how and why these exotic urban specialists encroach into bushland, what determines whether they establish, and what are the ecological consequences. We argue that urban specialists are native to urban landscapes, but that urban resources sometimes help them spillover into natural areas to affect local wildlife and spread disease.


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Progress on research on rodents and rodent-borne zoonoses in South-east Asia 
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Kim Blasdell, Frédéric Bordes, Kittipong Chaisiri, Yannick Chaval, Julien Claude, Jean-François Cosson, Alice Latinne, Johan Michaux, Serge Morand, Marie Pagès and Annelise Tran
pp. 98-107

Rodents are major crop pests and they are also hosts of important rodent-borne diseases in South-east Asia, for which infection risks to humans are affected by ongoing land use changes. Improvement of rodent taxonomy, thanks to molecular tools, and phylogenetic reconstruction allow a better description of the distribution of major rodents and their associated rodent-borne diseases among habitats. Our review shows that the structure of landscape affects the likely presence of rodent-borne diseases.


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Recovery of small rodent populations after population collapse 
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S. Hein and J. Jacob
pp. 108-118

Understanding recovery mechanisms of small rodents is important to improve strategies for pest management and conservation based on the target species’ ecology. Published information indicates that population recovery after sudden collapse strongly depends on factors such as life-history strategy, social behaviour, and density-dependent processes. Findings suggest to make case-by-case decisions for small scale conservation issues and to manage r-selection strategist pest rodents on a large spatial scale, including refuge areas, and to monitor for survivors after a couple of months. Photograph of a common vole (Microtus arvalis) by Jens Jacob.


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Anthropogenic stressors influence small mammal communities in tropical East African savanna at multiple spatial scales 
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Andrea E. Byrom, Ally J. K. Nkwabi, Kristine Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, Guy J. Forrester, Wendy A. Ruscoe, Denné N. Reed, John Bukombe, John Mchetto and A. R. E. Sinclair
pp. 119-131

Ecosystems are under threat from global stressors that reduce their resilience. We investigated how land use and climate change (two such stressors) could impact the diversity and resilience of a small mammal community in East African savanna ecosystems. Agro-ecosystems were less likely to contain specialist species compared to protected natural ecosystems, with the consequence that land use intensification and projected changes in climate may compromise the future resilience of the small mammal community in this tropical savanna ecosystem. Photograph by Andrea Byrom.


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Estimating rodent losses to stored rice as a means to assess efficacy of rodent management 
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Steven R. Belmain, Nyo Me Htwe, Nazira Q. Kamal and Grant R. Singleton
pp. 132-142

Globally, rats and mice annually eat and spoil cereals that could feed ~280 million people in developing countries alone. This figure is based mainly on pre-harvest losses. Our paper reports post-harvest losses of rice in rural households of 2.5% in Bangladesh and 17% in Myanmar; losses that were reduced to 0.5% and 5%, respectively, through community level control and improved hygiene of granaries. Large post-harvest losses by rats and mice are of significant concern for food security and are preventable.


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Evaluation of short-, mid- and long-term effects of toe clipping on a wild rodent 
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Benny Borremans, Vincent Sluydts, Rhodes H. Makundi and Herwig Leirs
pp. 143-148

Toe clipping is a cheap and efficient method for marking rodents, yet its effect is not well known. Using a 17-year capture–mark–recapture dataset in which mice were individually marked using toe clipping, we found no evidence for a biologically significant effect of clipping. We did observe that when mice were trapped for the first time, there was an effect on body condition and a scare effect, where they moved further away from the trap location.

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Mutualistic and predatory interactions are driven by rodent body size and seed traits in a rodent–seed system in warm-temperate forest in northern China 
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Hongmao Zhang, Zhenzhen Wang, Qinghuan Zeng, Gang Chang, Zhenyu Wang and Zhibin Zhang
pp. 149-157

Mutualistic interactions between animals and plants affect plant structure and regeneration. We assessed the effects of plant–rodent functional traits on the formation of mutualistic and predatory interactions between five tree species and six rodents. Both body size of rodents and seed traits are key factors in the formation of mutualistic and predatory interactions within this plant–rodent system. To promote seedling recruitment in degenerated forests, introducing or protecting large-sized scatter hoarders and reducing pure seed eaters are needed. Photograph by Hongmao Zhang.


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Reproduction and survival of rodents in crop fields: the effects of rainfall, crop stage and stone-bund density 
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Yonas Meheretu, Kiros Welegerima, Vincent Sluydts, Hans Bauer, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Jozef Deckers, Rhodes Makundi and Herwig Leirs
pp. 158-164

Stone-bunds built primarily to reduce soil erosion by runoff in Ethiopian highlands are raising concerns among farmers and pest control experts that they may act as refugia for rodents. Following a recent report that fields with high stone-bund density harbor more rodents and endure more crop damage than fields with low stone-bunds, we investigated if the same scenario holds true for reproduction and survival. We found that variation in stone-bund density has a minor influence on reproduction and survival, but the rodents investigated show high local survival rates. Photograph by Yonas Meheretu.

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Population ecology of the Asian house rat (Rattus tanezumi) in complex lowland agroecosystems in the Philippines 
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Alexander M. Stuart, Grant R. Singleton and Colin V. Prescott
pp. 165-175

In developing countries, losses caused by rodents to agricultural crops are an important threat to food security and farmer livelihood. In complex agroecosystems in the Philippines, where rodents cause significant rice yield loss, our paper reports that the rice crop stage is a major factor influencing habitat use and breeding biology of the pest rodent species. By understanding the ecology of the pest species, we developed rodent management strategies to reduce both yield losses and costs of rodent control.


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Arctic ground squirrel population collapse in the boreal forests of the Southern Yukon 
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Jeffery R. Werner, Charles J. Krebs, Scott A. Donker, Rudy Boonstra and Michael J. Sheriff
pp. 176-184

Because boreal ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere are relatively simple, dramatic changes in the abundance of any one wildlife species can have widespread and unpredictable effects. Here we document the disappearance of a once common herbivore from the montane boreal forests of SW Yukon, and report on experiments designed to clarify the causes of population collapses. Our findings point to the intensified role of predation in this system, whose influences likely extend to other prey species.


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Assessment of invasive rodent impacts on island avifauna: methods, limitations and the way forward 
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Lise Ruffino, Diane Zarzoso-Lacoste and Eric Vidal
pp. 185-195

Invasive rodents are a major cause of bird population declines on islands, and prioritisation of rodent eradications needs the support of robust quantitative data of rodent impacts. Our literature review on the methods used to assess rodent impacts on birds showed a lack of direct field evidence of predation and an overall poor quantification of impacts at the bird population level. We highlight some recommendations on how to strengthen current approaches and extend our knowledge on the mechanisms of impacts.

    | Supplementary Material (115 KB)

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We are connected: flea–host association networks in the plague outbreak focus in the Rift Valley, northern Tanzania 
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Rhodes H. Makundi, Apia W. Massawe, Benny Borremans, Anne Laudisoit and Abdul Katakweba
pp. 196-206

Plague is a major health threat globally and in particular Africa, where active foci have been reported in several countries including Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda. Rodents are the main reservoir hosts from which the bacterium is transmitted to humans by fleas. The study in Tanzania shows complex association and interactions between rodents and fleas in various habitats including human settlements. Management of plague outbreaks should focus on reducing interactions between rodents, fleas and people to prevent infections. Photograph: child infected with the bubonic plague in teh Rift Valley District, Tanzania.


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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.

    WR14238  Accepted 18 June 2015
    Assessing capture and tagging methods for brolgas, Antigone rubicunda (Gruidae)
    Inka Veltheim, Felipe Chavez-Ramirez, Richard Hill, Simon Cook

    WR15038  Accepted 15 June 2015
    Performance of GPS collars on free-ranging bison (Bison bison) in northwestern Canada
    Thomas Jung, Kazuhisa Kuba

    WR15019  Accepted 13 June 2015
    Pindone residues in rabbit tissues: implications for secondary hazard and risk to non-target wildlife
    Penny Fisher, Samantha Brown, Jane Arrow

    WR15025  Accepted 10 June 2015
    Ecological effects of game management: does supplemental feeding affect herbivory pressure on native vegetation?
    María Miranda, Ignacio Cristóbal, Leticia Díaz, Marisa Sicilia, Eduarda Molina-Alcaide, Jordi Bartolomé, Yolanda Fierro, Jorge Cassinello

    WR14259  Accepted 10 June 2015
    Fauna and vegetation responses to fire and invasion by toxic cane toads (Rhinella marina) in an obligate seeder dominated tropical savanna in the Kimberley, Northern Australia
    Ian Radford, Richard Fairman

    WR15003  Accepted 05 June 2015
    The fancy city life: Kuhl’s pipistrelle Pipistrellus kuhlii benefits from urbanization
    Leonardo Ancillotto, Alessandra Tomassini, Danilo Russo

    WR14161  Accepted 05 June 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, Shozo Shibata

    WR15007  Accepted 29 May 2015
    A cross-continental look at the patterns of avian species diversity and composition across an urbanization gradient
    Barbara Clucas, John Marzluff

    WR14228  Accepted 30 May 2015
    Spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) concentrate around urban waste dumps across Tigray, northern Ethiopia
    Gidey Yirga, Herwig Leirs, Hans De Iongh, Tsehaye Asmelash, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Seppe Deckers, Hans Bauer

    WR14206  Accepted 29 May 2015
    What does hunting market price reflect? The role of species, landscape and management
    María Martínez-Jauregui, Casimiro Herruzo, Pablo Campos

    WR14222  Accepted 28 May 2015
    How many are there? Multiple covariate distance sampling for monitoring pampas deer in Corrientes, Argentina
    Talía Zamboni, Alicia Delgado, Ignacio Jiménez Pérez, Carlos De Angelo

    WR14124  Accepted 24 May 2015
    Assessment of habitat fragmentation caused by traffic networks and identifying key affected areas to facilitate rare wildlife conservation in China
    Lu Zhang, Weihua Xu, Zhiyun Ouyang, Tian Dong

    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 20 February 2015
Effects of low-level culling of feral cats in open populations: a case study from the forests of southern Tasmania

Billie T. Lazenby, Nicholas J. Mooney and Christopher R. Dickman

2. Published 13 August 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

3. Published 6 October 2014
Lessons from long-term predator control: a case study with the red fox

Roger Kirkwood, Duncan R. Sutherland, Stuart Murphy and Peter Dann

4. Published 6 October 2014
Effects of coordinated poison-baiting programs on survival and abundance in two red fox populations

Andrew Bengsen

5. Published 20 February 2015
A critical review of habitat use by feral cats and key directions for future research and management

Tim S. Doherty, Andrew J. Bengsen and Robert A. Davis

6. Published 6 October 2014
Interactions between the superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) and fire in south-eastern Australia

Daniel T. Nugent, Steven W. J. Leonard and Michael F. Clarke

7. Published 13 August 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 and David Judge

8. Published 4 March 2015
How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates

Jim Hone and Tony Buckmaster

9. Published 13 August 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

10. Published 13 August 2014
Factors influencing occurrence of a freshwater turtle in an urban landscape: a resilient species?

Danielle Stokeld, Andrew J. Hamer, Rodney van der Ree, Vincent Pettigrove and Graeme Gillespie

11. Published 22 May 2015
How to snap your cat: optimum lures and their placement for attracting mammalian predators in arid Australia

J. L. Read, A. J. Bengsen, P. D. Meek and K. E. Moseby

12. Published 6 October 2014
Effects of a GnRH vaccine on the movement and activity of free-living wild boar (Sus scrofa)

Roger J. Quy, Giovanna Massei, Mark S. Lambert, Julia Coats, Lowell A. Miller and David P. Cowan

13. Published 6 October 2014
At home in a new range: wild red deer in south-eastern Queensland

Matt Amos, Greg Baxter, Neal Finch and Peter Murray

14. Published 17 April 2015
How guardian dogs protect livestock from predators: territorial enforcement by Maremma sheepdogs

Linda van Bommel and Chris N. Johnson

15. Published 17 April 2015
Seasonal and individual variation in selection by feral cats for areas with widespread primary prey and localised alternative prey

Jennyffer Cruz, Chris Woolmore, M. Cecilia Latham, A. David M. Latham, Roger P. Pech and Dean P. Anderson

16. Published 13 August 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

17. Published 13 August 2014
Usefulness of two bioeconomic frameworks for evaluation of community-initiated species conservation projects

Christopher Jones and Les McNamara

18. Published 18 December 2014
Testing the regional genetic representativeness of captive koala populations in South-East Queensland

Jennifer M. Seddon, Kristen E. Lee, Stephen D. Johnston, Vere N. Nicolson, Michael Pyne, Frank N. Carrick and William A. H. Ellis

19. Published 6 October 2014
Use by small mammals of a chronosequence of tropical rainforest revegetation

Tegan Whitehead, Miriam Goosem and Noel D. Preece

20. Published 17 April 2015
Remote sensing can locate and assess the changing abundance of hollow-bearing trees for wildlife in Australian native forests

Christopher J. Owers, Rodney P. Kavanagh and Eleanor Bruce

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