Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Pacific Conservation Biology

Pacific Conservation Biology

Pacific Conservation Biology provides a forum for discussion about regional conservation problems; debate about priorities and mechanisms for conservation oriented biological research; and dissemination of the results of relevant research. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Mike Calver


Current Issue

Pacific Conservation Biology

Volume 22 Number 3 2016

Faunal Species Conservation in the Melanesian Pacific Islands

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.

PC14927Factors affecting frog density in the Solomon Islands

Patrick Pikacha, Chris Filardi, Clare Morrison and Luke Leung
pp. 223-235

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

Lekima K. F. Copeland, David T. Boseto and Aaron P. Jenkins
pp. 236-241

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.

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.

PC14931Disappearing jewels: an urgent need for conservation of Fiji’s partulid tree snail fauna

Gilianne Brodie, Gary M. Barker, Helen Pippard, Cindy S. Bick and Diarmaid Ó Foighil
pp. 249-261

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.

PC14933Cetacean diversity, common occurrence and community importance in Fijian waters

Cara Miller, Aisake Batibasaga, Prerna Chand, Sirilo Dulunaqio, Margaret Fox, Stacy Jupiter, Waisea Naisilisili, Yashika Nand, Saras Sharma-Gounder and Brian Smith
pp. 272-280

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.

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.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

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.

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.

Published online 14 October 2016

PC16016Traditional ecological knowledge, shifting baselines, and conservation of Fijian molluscs

Karen Bao and Joshua Drew

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.

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.

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.

Published online 19 September 2016

PC16017Optimising camera trap deployment design across multiple sites for species inventory surveys

J. Smith, S. Legge, A. James and K. Tuft

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.

Published online 06 September 2016

PC15029Prevalence of interactions between Hawaiian monk seals (Nemonachus schauinslandi) and nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands

K. S. Gobush, T. A. Wurth, J. R. Henderson, B. L. Becker and C. L. Littnan

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

Published online 17 August 2016

PC15020Marine invasive species: establishing pathways, their presence and potential threats in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Inti Keith, Terence P. Dawson, Ken J. Collins and Marnie L. Campbell

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.

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.

Published online 05 August 2016

PC16003Manta ray tourism management, precautionary strategies for a growing industry: a case study from the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia

Stephanie Venables, Frazer McGregor, Lesley Brain and Mike van Keulen

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.

Published online 01 August 2016

PC16014Social landscape of the night parrot in western Queensland, Australia

Stephen T. Garnett, Mark Kleinschmidt, Micha V. Jackson, Kerstin K. Zander and Stephen A. Murphy

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.

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.

Published online 04 July 2016

PC15043Resolving the taxonomy, range and ecology of biogeographically isolated and critically endangered populations of an Australian freshwater galaxiid, Galaxias truttaceus

David L. Morgan, Stephen J. Beatty, Paul G. Close, Mark G. Allen, Peter J. Unmack, Michael P. Hammer and Mark Adams

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.

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.

Published online 24 June 2016

PC15039Changes in habitat use and distribution of mouflon in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Bronson Palupe, Christina R. Leopold, Steven C. Hess, Jonathan K. Faford, Dexter Pacheco and Seth W. Judge

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.

Published online 20 June 2016

PC16007Fauna-rescue programs highlight unresolved scientific, ethical and animal welfare issues

Peter Menkhorst, Nick Clemann and Joanna Sumner

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.

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.

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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.

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Bayard Brattstrom has been awarded the first Ivor Beatty Award.