Pacific Conservation Biology
Volume 22 Number 3 2016
Faunal Species Conservation in the Melanesian Pacific Islands
PC14929Diversity and current conservation status of Melanesian–New Zealand placostyline land snails (Gastropoda : Bothriembryontidae), with discussion of conservation imperatives, priorities and methodology issues
Knowledge and conservation effort have a spatial bias. While New Zealand–Lorde Howe–New Caledonia taxa receive much needed conservation attention, those efforts are spatially discordant with the Fiji–Vanuatu–Solomon Islands centre of diversity and the emerging need in those regions for conservation action due to pressures from human activities and invasive species.
This paper identifies some important factors affecting the density of frogs in the Solomon Islands. Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) was used to select the most parsimonious model of frog density. Factors identified in the selected model to predict density of 16 species were island, landform, and forest type. These findings have important management implications for the conservation of frogs in the Solomon Islands.
PC14928Freshwater ichthyofauna of the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) Gateway in Viti Levu, Fiji
The Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) in Fiji has resulted in new records and new species of freshwater fish. The fauna along this transect is being threatened by reduction in forest catchment cover, construction of dams and weirs along migration routes. Several of the species are important food and totems to Fijians.
PC14930Discovery of an important aggregation area for endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks, Sphyrna lewini, in the Rewa River estuary, Fiji Islands
We explored reports that the Rewa River estuary in Fiji is a nursery area for the scalloped hammerhead shark. Results showed that juveniles do occupy the estuary, with analyses of umbilical scars and stomach contents indicating its importance as an aggregation area for the species, necessitating fishery management and protection.
Fiji has >240 species of native terrestrial snails with an endemism level of ~80%. Information on four potentially threatened endemic Partulidae species is urgently needed. The descriptive information reported here will raise awareness of these tree snails, particularly for remote island communities that have little knowledge of the snail’s uniqueness or threatened conservation status.
PC14932Placing the Fijian Honeyeaters within the meliphagid radiation: implications for origins and conservation
This article synthesises disparate data sources to develop a baseline of both confirmed and probable cetacean species, as well as identify areas of common occurrence and community importance within the Fijian Economic Exclusive Zone.
PC14934Population genetic structure of the goby Stiphodon rutilaureus (Gobiidae) in the New Georgia Group, Solomon Islands
The Stiphodon rutilaureus in the New Georgia Group, Solomon Islands were studied using mitochondrial analysis and microsatellites. The results indicate low or no population structure among populations of amphidromous sicydiine goby species on different islands within an archipelago. This study provides suggestions for management and conservation of fragile aquatic species.
The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue
PC16004Changes in the distribution of reports of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) after 16 years of local conservation initiatives at Gunnedah, north-west New South Wales, Australia
Revegetation for salinity control in Gunnedah Shire during the 1990s provided the opportunity to enhance koala habitat and increase local awareness. Surveys 16 years apart show that koalas became more widely reported in the agricultural areas of the shire, and the urban areas became the core of their reported distribution.
PC16013Floristics, dominance and diversity within the threatened Themeda grassy headlands of the North Coast Bioregion of New South Wales
In Themeda-dominated assemblages increasing biomass depth and a reduction in macropod grazing impact reduced plot species and trait richness and diversity. This was associated with a shift in assemblage identity. All three Themeda assemblages should be maintained in order to promote landscape diversity. Frequent fire is likely to cause homogenisation and loss of important components including listed threatened taxa.
We used interviews with villagers of different generations to quantify the changes in commercially important shellfish, including giant clams (Tridacna spp.) in Fiji. Our results show that older generations remembered a more abundant ecosystem as well as larger clams. Younger generations however did not perceive this shift in an ecological baseline.
PC16025Introduced social bees reduce nectar availability during the breeding season of the swift parrot (Lathamus discolor)
The Swift Parrot Recovery Plan includes competition for nectar and pollen from introduced social bees as a threatening process. Here, we present the strongest evidence yet to support this theory. Bees consumed most nectar from the species of trees that are important to swift parrots during their breeding season.
PC16011Mapping foraging habitat for migratory shorebirds in their Australian non-breeding grounds and prioritising sites for conservation and management
This study demonstrates methods to map important shorebird habitat using GIS to provide coastal zone managers a tool to enhance consideration of shorebird habitat within the management framework. Habitat values were assessed against a range of criteria and sites considered of high value that were heavily disturbed were prioritised for management.
This paper investigates the effect of deployment time, camera array size and number of sites on detection of saxicoline mammals and varanid species in northern Australia and presents an analysis method for optimising decisions about how a limited number of cameras should be deployed across sites.
PC15029Prevalence of interactions between Hawaiian monk seals (Nemonachus schauinslandi) and nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands
We determine the prevalence and characteristics of interactions between the Hawaiian monk seal (Nemonachus schauinslandi) and nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands and examine impacts to the subpopulation
PC15020Marine invasive species: establishing pathways, their presence and potential threats in the Galapagos Marine Reserve
Marine biological invasions have increased significantly in recent years due to global trade, transport and tourism. Invasive non-native species are the number one threat to Galapagos ecosystems and although many preventive and corrective measures have been applied to terrestrial problems, the impacts of invasive non-native species in the marine environment have received relatively little attention until now.
PC16008Exploring the use of a fragmented landscape by a large arboreal marsupial using incidental sighting records from community members
The study explores the use of a fragmented landscape by Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi). The spatial distribution of suitable habitat and the ability of the species to move into various types of matrices suggest that the current degree of fragmentation of the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland provides functional connectivity for this species.
PC16003Manta ray tourism management, precautionary strategies for a growing industry: a case study from the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia
Manta ray interaction tourism is reviewed, with a particular focus on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. The use of the precautionary principle is advocated to guide the design and implementation of management strategies. An increase in the level of industry management is advised and specific recommendations are provided for management strategies.
Attitudes of owners/managers of properties in western Queensland potentially supporting recently rediscovered night parrots were explored to understand whether they would be sympathetic to species conservation through property management. Interviews found a high level of support, especially if disruption was minimal and compensation available, suggesting collaborative management with local graziers can contribute substantially to night parrot conservation.
PC15034What environmental, social or economic factors identify high-value wetlands? Data-mining a wetlands database from south-eastern Australia
Large amounts of potentially useful information are collected by management agencies as they attempt to identify high-value wetlands and rank them for investment, protection or rehabilitation. Only rarely are the resultant databases subject to a full quantitative analysis. We show how such potentially useful, and mostly under-utilised, databases can be interrogated with a suite of analytical tools, including artificial intelligence approaches, and how this can lead to more informed, transparent, reproducible and transferable assessments, and to better conservation outcomes.
PC15031Identifying High Value Arboreal Habitat in forested areas using high-resolution digital imagery
We present a new method to identify and map ‘High Value Arboreal Habitat’ at a fine scale using high resolution digital imagery to capture important areas of old forest across the landscape which have high conservation value.
PC15043Resolving the taxonomy, range and ecology of biogeographically isolated and critically endangered populations of an Australian freshwater galaxiid, Galaxias truttaceus
This study investigated genetic, geographic and ecological criteria of populations of Galaxias truttaceus in Western Australian and found that these populations should be considered as an evolutionary significant unit. Management of these should be a high conservation priority.
PC16006An evaluation and comparison of spatial modelling applications for the management of biodiversity: a case study on the fragmented landscapes of south-western Australia
Spatial modelling tools are increasingly used in biodiversity conservation planning but with many approaches it is often difficult to know which to employ. Using a case study in a biodiversity hotspot, we evaluated five commonly used modelling techniques and found that none of the applications used met all our criteria. Consequently, we advocate a hybrid approach of multiple techniques to identify, quantify and ameliorate threats to regional biota.
PC15039Changes in habitat use and distribution of mouflon in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
European mouflon sheep (Ovis gmelini musimon) have become invasive in Hawai‘i and other locations. Eradication of mouflon has been difficult because their behaviour is not like that of feral domestic ungulates. Our results suggest that the habitat use and distribution of mouflon also changes in response to extended eradication efforts.
In response to a paper advocating large-scale, multi-species ‘fauna-rescue’ programs when habitat is being destroyed, we urge caution by highlighting the lack of evidence of success in such programs. We argue that any benefits are likely to be outweighed by ecological and animal welfare risks, and that any conservation gains are likely to be illusionary.
PC16015Response to ‘Fauna-rescue programs highlight unresolved scientific, ethical and animal welfare issues’ by Menkhorst et al.
There is limited knowledge on the success or failure of fauna relocations associated with vegetation clearing programs. This paper comments on issues raised by other authors and provides some suggested guidelines that can be applied in the absence of scientific evidence.
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.
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