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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16 Results Patterns of change in mammal populations Between 1979-1981 and 2003, the total abundance and species richness of native mammals at the Jabiluka sites increased by 16.5% and 25.7% respectively. While neither of these increases was statistically significant, that for species richness approached significance (p=0.07). Overall, the pattern of change in native mammal abundance was variable with some sites showing increases while others decreased (Figure 4.2). The most dramatic increase occurred at Site 16 where large numbers of Northern Brown Bandicoots and Pale Field Rats were recorded in 2003. Conversely, at Site 11 the dramatic decrease in native mammal abundance was a result of only seven Northern Brushtail Possums being recorded in 2003, compared to 63 in 1981. Overall, slightly more sites showed an increase (21) than decrease (17) in total mammal abundance between 1979-1981 and 2003. Figure 4. 2. Total abundance (% trap success) of native mammals at Jabiluka survey sites sampled in both 1979-1981 and 2003. Totalabundance(%trapsuccess)19791981 To ta la bu nd an ce (% tr ap s uc ce ss )2 00 3 5 5 15 25 35 45 2 2 6 10 14 18 22 26 30 Riparianwoodland Sandstonewoodland Mixedeucalyptwoodland Closedforest Floodplainfringe Changes for individual mammal species and the native mammal fauna as a whole, are summarised in Table 4.2. Of nine native mammal species recorded in at least five sub- sites from the combined 1979-1981 and 2003 sampling, the abundance of three species (Northern Quoll, Pale Field Rat and Northern Brown Bandicoot) increased significantly and one species (Sandstone Antechinus) declined significantly. Two other species (Arnhem Rock Rat and Northern Brushtail Possum) showed a strong trend for decline, though this was not quite statistically significant.

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