Territory Stories

Vertebrate monitoring and resampling in Kakadu National Park : Year 3, 2003-04



Vertebrate monitoring and resampling in Kakadu National Park : Year 3, 2003-04


Watson, Michelle; Woinarski, John Casimir Zichy; Northern Territory. Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Date:2004-05; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Table of contents

Summary -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Continuation of a monitoring program that will contribute to the assessment of impacts of cane toads -- 3. Baseline survey of vertebrates at fire monitoring plots -- 4. Investigation of change in vertebrate (especially mammal) species composition at sites sampled in historic surveys -- a. Jabiluka -- b. Kapalga -- 5. Survey of threatened plants -- 6. Investigation of census and trapping methods for feral cats and dingoes -- 7. Training of Parks Australia staff in fauna survey through a field-based camp -- 8. Compilation of data bases and GIS layers showing existing and current fauna records -- Appendix A. Schedule for consultancy RS19 Vertebrate monitoring and resampling in Kakadu National Park.




Animals -- Northern Territory -- Kakadu National Park

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



v, 57 pages : col. maps ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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12 between July 1979 and September 1981 (15 July 30 September 1979, 18 February 16 March 1980, 26 May 13 June 1980, 25 August 27 September 1980, 5 November 12 December 1980 and 26 July 19 September 1981). Fourteen sites were established in 1979 with a further two sites added in each of September and November 1980. The 18 sites were distributed between the three major landform units present within the mining lease (Fig. 4.1). At each sub-site between 80 and 100 small Elliott traps were set in four or five rows with approximately 20m between traps. A wire cage trap (either bandicoot or possum sized) was placed adjacent to every fifth Elliott trap. The traps were not placed in set grid patterns, the researchers instead opting to arrange the traps according to the mosaic of habitats present within the vicinity of each trapping site. Trapping was carried out over a 3 night period at each site. Trap success rate (expressed as a percentage) at each trap site (or sub-sites where appropriate) was used as an index of the relative abundance of each species and to examine differences in population size between trapping periods. The number and time of fires was recorded during the study period. Pitfall trapping was occasionally carried out during the first year of the original study. In these instances, six pits consisting of 50cm x 20cm tins were evenly spaced along a 50m x 30cm drift fence. 2003 Re-sampling. Fifteen of the original 18 sites were re-sampled during August and September 2003 (Table 4.1 and Figure 4.1). The number and arrangement of traps in 2003 replicated as closely as possible the descriptions provided by the original researchers. However, in 2003 only possum sized cage traps were used, rather than a mix of possum and bandicoot sized cage traps. Since both of these trap types are used to target the larger mammal species found at these sites (e.g. northern brown bandicoots, northern brushtail possums, black- footed tree-rats and northern quolls) it is unlikely that this slight difference in equipment will affect trap success. Traps were laid out as described in archival information provided by Anne Kerle. As with the original survey, each site was trapped for three consecutive nights using a bait mixture of honey, rolled oats and peanut butter. Pitfall traps were not used during the 2003 re-sample. Large mammals (e.g. macropods, dingoes and feral ungulates) were recorded in both sampling periods by incidental day-time observations. Analysis. Changes in the native mammal fauna on the Jabiluka lease were determined by comparing the number of each species and the total number of native mammals caught at each subsite during the original survey and the 2003 re-sample. Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs tests were used to make these comparisons. Wherever possible, the 2003 sampling data were compared to that collected from the final dry season sampling of the original study (i.e. July September 1981). However, some sub-sites were not surveyed at this time so comparisons were made with earlier data (see Table 4.1 for dates).

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