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Journal of the Australian Mammal Society

The use of rope bridges to study the colonisation of restored rainforest habitat by arboreal mammals

Sigrid Heise-Pavlov A *
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A School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies, Yungaburra, 4884, Queensland, Australia.

* Correspondence to:

Handling Editor: Ross Goldingay

Australian Mammalogy 46, AM23002
Submitted: 30 October 2022  Accepted: 2 June 2023  Published: 20 June 2023

© 2024 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Australian Mammal Society.


This study tested the utility of a rope bridge across a road that traversed restored rainforest habitat (5–8 years old) to assess the use of these new habitats by arboreal mammals. Camera-trapping revealed common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), green ringtail possums (Pseudochirops archeri) and Herbert River ringtail possums (Pseudochirulus herbertensis) used the rope bridge regularly while striped possums (Dactylopsila trivirgata), fawn-footed melomys (Melomys cervinipes), long-tailed pygmy-possums (Cercartetus caudatus) and Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) were recorded at the bridge accesses, but no crossings could be proven. No Lemuroid ringtail possums (Hemibelideus lemuroides) were recorded near the rope bridge. Differences in the use of the restored rainforest habitat and the crossing structure are likely to be caused by differences in the species’ reliance on features in mature forests, and their responses to rainforest edges. The results support the utility of canopy crossing structures to facilitate the use of restored habitat by arboreal mammals.

Keywords: arboreal mammals, Australia, crossing structures, habitat use, motion-triggered cameras, rainforest edge, rainforest restoration, rope bridge.


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