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

Wildlife Research

Volume 44 Number 3 2017

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Bird surveys are widely used to estimate diversity – but how do current methods compare with best-practice recommendations? This systematic review of 225 studies over 12 years reveals that most studies ignore detectability and use short-duration, fixed-effort sampling without justification. To increase reliability, both collectors and consumers of bird survey data should consider richness estimates in terms of sample completeness.

WR16184Why didn't the lizard cross the road? Dunes sagebrush lizards exhibit road-avoidance behaviour

Toby J. Hibbitts, Lee A. Fitzgerald, Danielle K. Walkup and Wade A. Ryberg
pp. 194-199
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Roads are known to have negative impacts on wildlife, from direct mortality due to collisions with vehicles to indirect effects involving road-avoidance behaviours. We found that dunes sagebrush lizard movement patterns were significantly altered by roads and that the lizards rarely crossed the road. This avoidance behaviour indicates that although roads are small physical disturbances to habitat, their impacts on lizard population connectivity can be important.

WR16061One Health messaging about bats and rabies: how framing of risks, benefits and attributions can support public health and wildlife conservation goals

Hang Lu, Katherine A. McComas, Danielle E. Buttke, Sungjong Roh, Margaret A. Wild and Daniel J. Decker
pp. 200-206
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Because of seemingly unavoidable conflicts between public health and conservation goals, this study explored how One Health messaging may motivate intentions to prevent exposure to rabies from bats while promoting bat conservation. We found that mentioning the benefits of bats in a bat-blame message improved beliefs about bats. The findings provide insights for current communication about bats and rabies.

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Given that ecological processes are scale-dependent, research on species’ habitat associations can be strengthened if it involves multi-scale approaches. This study aimed to determine the landscape- and site-scale habitat associations of Petrogale lateralis (MacDonnell Ranges race). The findings revealed that all four spatial scales yielded novel information. Furthermore, the results might have conservation implications for this threatened race and could provide a model for other studies of faunal habitat associations.

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There have been few community studies of Australian freshwater turtles. The present study examined the diet and microhabitat use of 5 species of freshwater turtles from the Daly River, Northern Territory. Dietary shift with age was observed for most turtle species, and between species there was differentiation of diet and microhabitat use. The study also showed that in the dry-season, freshwater turtles in a perennial tropical river like the Daly River rely on aquatic vegetation and molluscs. Photograph: Megacephalic Emydura victoriae from the Daly River, by Arthur Georges.

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Cryptic and highly mobile species such as the endangered southern cassowary require the development of specific monitoring methods for conducting population surveys. This study revealed that visual lures used with camera traps increased the number of cassowaries detected, reduced camera latency times and increased data available to identify individuals. This is a practical and cost-efficient technique for the rapid detection of cassowaries at a site and lends itself to studies of population structure, size and trends. Photograph by W. McLean.

WR16165Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands

Anthony D. Griffiths, Brooke Rankmore, Kym Brennan and John C. Z. Woinarski
pp. 238-247
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The establishment of a self-sustaining population is a fundamental objective of any translocation. We evaluated the success of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two islands in response to the threat posed by cane toads, with both populations reaching their regulation phase after going through establishment and growth phases. Collecting detailed demographic information is important in the translocation of species. Photograph by Ian Morris.

WR16172Differences in microhabitat selection patterns between a remnant and constructed landscape following management intervention

Jose W. Valdez, Kaya Klop-Toker, Michelle P. Stockwell, Loren Fardell, Simon Clulow, John Clulow and Michael J. Mahony
pp. 248-258
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Successful conservation outcomes require understanding how species use their habitat and respond to management interventions. We compared differences in microhabitat use by an endangered amphibian between a reintroduced population in a constructed system and a naturally occurring population. The results indicated that microhabitat use differed between the two sites that will be used to inform future management initiatives and better use of resources. Photograph by Jose W. Valdez.

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In ski resorts to facilitate small animal movement across modified ski slopes and under roadways boulder filled and culvert wildlife crossings are constructed to link remnant habitat. This study monitored crossings to determine small mammal use. Regardless of size or type all crossings were used with the broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus) detected more frequently in crossings of greater length. Our results recommend the continued use of boulder-filled crossings in particular wide areas of ski-slope disturbance.

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Providing resources to threatened species could be a useful conservation tool. We examined how the black-footed rock-wallaby used supplementary water points and found that drinking rates were significantly higher during dry winter months but water points did not increase predator activity. Water supplementation may assist arid zone populations to survive droughts, increase population recruitment or increase survival in reintroductions.

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