Territory Stories

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

Details:

Title

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

Creator

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

Collection

E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT

Date

2004-05-01

Notes

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.

Language

English

Subject

Animals -- Northern Territory -- Kakadu National Park

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication

Palmerston

Format

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

File type

application/pdf

Use

Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/213586

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/715012

Page content

36 muchoftheTopEndoftheNorthernTerritory.CatswererecordedatthePort EssingtonSettlementintheTopEndoftheNorthernTerritorybyLudwigLeichardt duringthe1840s(Abbott2002).Catswerealsorecordedasfrequentlyseenaround Katherineandnorthwardstothecoastin1912(Abbott2002).Theearliestrecordsof catsinKakaduarefromKapalgaandDeafAdderCreekinthe1920s(Ridpath1990). Incontrast,dingoesfirstarrivedinAustraliasome3,500yearsago(Corbett1995)and rapidlycolonisedtheentirecontinent(exceptforTasmania).Dingoeshavebeen studiedinsomedetailatanumberoflocationsinAustralia,includingtheKapalga ResearchStationinKakaduNationalPark(Corbett1995). Therehastodatebeenonlyone(incompleteandnotformally published)study focussingoncatsinthewetdrytropicsoftheNorthernTerritory(Cameron,1994) andoneothermammalstudyinwhichferalcatsweregivensomeconsideration (Corbett1995).Bothofthesepiecesofresearchrevealedthatferalcatswereindeed preyingonsmallmammalsintheregion,particularlynativerodents(eg.theDusky RatRattuscolletti ,PaleFieldRatRattustunneyi, theLongHairedRatRattus villosissimusandtheGrasslandMelomysMelomysburtoni)andtheNorthernBrown BandicootIsoodonmacrourus(Cameron1994).Someofthesespecies,aswellas othersmallmammalsthatfallwithinthesizerangeofpreytakenbyferalcatswere amongthespeciesfoundtobedecliningatKapalgaResearchStationinKakadu NationalPark(BraithwaiteandMuller1997Woinarski etal.2001).Thepotential roleofferalcatsinthisdeclinehasyettobedetermined,primarilybecausethereis currentlyinsufficientinformationaboutthedistributionandabundanceofferalcats andthenatureandextentoftheirinteractionswithpreyandotherpredatorsinthis region (Woinarski etal.2001). Estimatingthedistributionandabundanceofferalcatsanddingoes,aswithother smallmammaliancarnivores,ismadedifficultasaresultoftheirtendencytobeshy, cryptic,solitaryandgenerallypresentatlowdensities(Dickman1996Edwardsetal. 1997Risbey etal.1999).Methodsthathavebeenusedtoestimatetherelative abundanceofferalcatsanddingoesincludelivecaptures,scatcounts,spotlight surveys,passivetrackcountsandactivetrackcountsusingbaits. Livecapturetechniquesmayemploycagetrapsorlegholdtraps,thelatteris consideredtobethemoresuccessfulmethodbutthepotentialforinjuryofnontarget speciescanrenderthistechniqueunsuitableinsomeareas(Shortetal. 2002).Spotlightsurveys,althoughfrequentlyusedtosurveymammaliancarnivores, oftensimplyfailtodetectspeciessuchasferalcats,dingoesorfoxes(Mahon etal. 1998Edwardsetal. 2000).Theseresultsarisebecauseofbehaviouralresponsesof catsanddingoes(ie.theymaysimplynotlookatthespotlightandthereforenotbe seen)(JonesandComan1982)andbecausespotlightsurveysonlysampleasmallpart ofthetimethatpredatorsareactiveandasmallportionofthehabitatinwhichthey arefound(usuallynearroads)(Mahon etal. 1998).Asaresult,manyspotlight surveysreportedintheliteraturemaybenegativelybiased(Mahon etal.1998). Passiveandactivetrackcountsarealsoextensivelyusedtoestimaterelative abundanceofcatsanddingoes.Activetrackbasedmethodsgenerallyemploysome typeofbaitorluretoattractcatstoaparticularareawherethenumberoftrackswill becounted.Theresultsofthesesurveyscanbeaffectedbybaitshyness(Thompson andFleming1994)ortheappropriatenessofbaitsusedduringthesurvey (Clapperton


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