Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats
Wildlife Research

Wildlife Research

Volume 41 Number 5 2014

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Population fluctuations of voles may have been damped out in young forests of the Pacific north-west of North America, possibly owing to cattle grazing. In high-quality habitats where cover and other attributes of vegetation are substantial enough to generate population increases and fluctuations of voles, grazing of vegetation by cattle may lead to potential collapse of fluctuations. Reductions in populations of voles may have serious consequences for predator communities and other ecological functions.

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Buffel grass is considered an important pasture introduction in Australia, yet habitat change associated with its invasion is likely to impact native fauna. By comparing bird behaviour and microhabitat use in sub-sites where buffel grass had been managed and unmanaged sub-sites we found that bird behaviour, particularly time spent on the ground and foraging, was influenced by buffel grass cover. Our study provides information for land managers about the costs and benefits associated with local scale buffel grass management.

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Stoats in New Zealand are invasive introduced predators that negatively affect a range of indigenous species. We used genetic techniques to estimate the connectivity of stoat populations across the Auckland region to assist the planning of control and eradication operations. We found that we could describe the origin of individuals well at this regional scale, and highlight that the isolation of the Waiheke Island stoat population means that eradication here is likely to be feasible with low reinvasion rates. Photographed by Patrick Garvey – University of Auckland.

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Feral cats threaten biodiversity, and are often culled to reduce their impact. The effectiveness of culling is largely unknown in areas where new cats can replace those removed, but by using remote camera technology to identify individuals, we found that low-level culling resulted in an increase in cat numbers and activity. This unexpected result demonstrates the importance of monitoring management actions, and the need for strategic, systematic, and ongoing commitment to managing feral cats if their impact on biodiversity is to be reduced.

WR14155Influence of industrial light pollution on the sea-finding behaviour of flatback turtle hatchlings

Ruth L. Kamrowski, Col Limpus, Kellie Pendoley and Mark Hamann
pp. 421-434
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Rapid industrialisation of Australia’s coastline will increase light pollution, posing a significant threat to turtle hatchlings. This study investigates sea-finding behaviour by flatback turtle hatchlings in areas of planned or ongoing industrial development. Sky glow produced by large-scale industry appears detrimental to sea-finding ability of hatchlings. As development continues around Australia, we strongly recommend continued monitoring of adjacent turtle nesting beaches, and rigorous industrial light management. Photograph by Morgan Payne.

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Feral cats have a wide global distribution and are a serious threat to biodiversity; an understanding of their habitat use is essential to reducing their impacts. Our review shows that current knowledge of the factors influencing cat habitat use is poor. Future studies will benefit from employing an experimental approach and collecting data on the relative abundance and activity of prey and other predators. Local knowledge and active monitoring is essential when deciding on control programs.

WR14069Using novel spatial mark–resight techniques to monitor resident Canada geese in a suburban environment

M. Elizabeth Rutledge, Rahel Sollmann, Brian E. Washburn, Christopher E. Moorman and Christopher S. DePerno
pp. 447-453
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Baseline demographic estimates for resident Canada goose (Branta canadensis) populations are needed to better understand their ecology in suburban areas where a high number of goose-human interactions occur. Traditional mark–resight models are limited when it comes to density estimation because the abundance estimate is not linked to a specific area; therefore, the use of novel spatial mark-resight techniques allowed us to determine goose densities by season, detection rates, and the movements and home range radii of the geese. Spatial mark–resight methods provide managers with statistically robust population estimates and allow insight into animal space use without the need to employ more costly methods (e.g. telemetry).

WR13185Effects of landscape matrix type, patch quality and seasonality on the diet of frugivorous bats in tropical semi-deciduous forest

Beatriz Bolívar-Cimé, Javier Laborde, M. Cristina MacSwiney G. and Vinicio J. Sosa
pp. 454-464
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Obtaining food in highly seasonal and fragmented habitats requires a greater effort by frugivorous bats; the presence of high-quality sites that provide food is crucial in these habitats. Since frugivorous bats are important seed dispersers, we assessed bat diet in seasonal and fragmented tropical forest. Frugivorous bats were flexible and capable of tracking variations in food availability; owing to their foraging habits they create strong connections between both fragmented and continuous forest by carrying seeds that later contribute to forest regeneration.

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