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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 32(1)

Modelling the distribution and relative abundance of feral camels in the Northern Territory using count data

S. R. McLeod A C, A. R. Pople B

A Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, Industry & Investment New South Wales – Primary Industries, Orange Agricultural Institute, Forest Road, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia.
B Biosecurity Queensland, Primary Industries and Fisheries, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Alan Fletcher Research Station, PO Box 36, Sherwood, Qld 4075, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: steven.mcleod@industry.nsw.gov.au
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The objectives of this study were to predict the potential distribution, relative abundance and probability of habitat use by feral camels in southern Northern Territory. Aerial survey data were used to model habitat association. The characteristics of ‘used’ (where camels were observed) v. ‘unused’ (pseudo-absence) sites were compared. Habitat association and abundance were modelled using generalised additive model (GAM) methods. The models predicted habitat suitability and the relative abundance of camels in southern Northern Territory. The habitat suitability maps derived in the present study indicate that camels have suitable habitat in most areas of southern Northern Territory. The index of abundance model identified areas of relatively high camel abundance. Identifying preferred habitats and areas of high abundance can help focus control efforts.

Keywords: generalised additive model, habitat suitability, presence-only, pseudo-absence, resource selection function, habitat suitability, zero-inflated.

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