Pacific Conservation Biology
Volume 22 Number 4 2016
PC16003Manta ray tourism management, precautionary strategies for a growing industry: a case study from the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia
Manta ray interaction tourism is reviewed, with a particular focus on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. The use of the precautionary principle is advocated to guide the design and implementation of management strategies. An increase in the level of industry management is advised and specific recommendations are provided for management strategies.
In response to a paper advocating large-scale, multi-species ‘fauna-rescue’ programs when habitat is being destroyed, we urge caution by highlighting the lack of evidence of success in such programs. We argue that any benefits are likely to be outweighed by ecological and animal welfare risks, and that any conservation gains are likely to be illusionary.
PC16015Response to ‘Fauna-rescue programs highlight unresolved scientific, ethical and animal welfare issues’ by Menkhorst et al.
There is limited knowledge on the success or failure of fauna relocations associated with vegetation clearing programs. This paper comments on issues raised by other authors and provides some suggested guidelines that can be applied in the absence of scientific evidence.
PC15039Changes in habitat use and distribution of mouflon in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
European mouflon sheep (Ovis gmelini musimon) have become invasive in Hawai‘i and other locations. Eradication of mouflon has been difficult because their behaviour is not like that of feral domestic ungulates. Our results suggest that the habitat use and distribution of mouflon also changes in response to extended eradication efforts.
PC15034What environmental, social or economic factors identify high-value wetlands? Data-mining a wetlands database from south-eastern Australia
Large amounts of potentially useful information are collected by management agencies as they attempt to identify high-value wetlands and rank them for investment, protection or rehabilitation. Only rarely are the resultant databases subject to a full quantitative analysis. We show how such potentially useful, and mostly under-utilised, databases can be interrogated with a suite of analytical tools, including artificial intelligence approaches, and how this can lead to more informed, transparent, reproducible and transferable assessments, and to better conservation outcomes.
PC16006An evaluation and comparison of spatial modelling applications for the management of biodiversity: a case study on the fragmented landscapes of south-western Australia
Spatial modelling tools are increasingly used in biodiversity conservation planning but with many approaches it is often difficult to know which to employ. Using a case study in a biodiversity hotspot, we evaluated five commonly used modelling techniques and found that none of the applications used met all our criteria. Consequently, we advocate a hybrid approach of multiple techniques to identify, quantify and ameliorate threats to regional biota.
PC15043Resolving the taxonomy, range and ecology of biogeographically isolated and critically endangered populations of an Australian freshwater galaxiid, Galaxias truttaceus
This study investigated genetic, geographic and ecological criteria of populations of Galaxias truttaceus in Western Australian and found that these populations should be considered as an evolutionary significant unit. Management of these should be a high conservation priority.
Attitudes of owners/managers of properties in western Queensland potentially supporting recently rediscovered night parrots were explored to understand whether they would be sympathetic to species conservation through property management. Interviews found a high level of support, especially if disruption was minimal and compensation available, suggesting collaborative management with local graziers can contribute substantially to night parrot conservation.
PC15031Identifying High Value Arboreal Habitat in forested areas using high-resolution digital imagery
We present a new method to identify and map ‘High Value Arboreal Habitat’ at a fine scale using high resolution digital imagery to capture important areas of old forest across the landscape which have high conservation value.
PC15020Marine invasive species: establishing pathways, their presence and potential threats in the Galapagos Marine Reserve
Marine biological invasions have increased significantly in recent years due to global trade, transport and tourism. Invasive non-native species are the number one threat to Galapagos ecosystems and although many preventive and corrective measures have been applied to terrestrial problems, the impacts of invasive non-native species in the marine environment have received relatively little attention until now.
PC16008Exploring the use of a fragmented landscape by a large arboreal marsupial using incidental sighting records from community members
The study explores the use of a fragmented landscape by Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi). The spatial distribution of suitable habitat and the ability of the species to move into various types of matrices suggest that the current degree of fragmentation of the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland provides functional connectivity for this species.
The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue
The effect of feral cats on diet patterns of island foxes on San Nicolas Island was examined during 2006–12. Although selection of food items by foxes appeared to shift when cats were removed, changes in diet patterns probably were more influenced by variation in prey availability associated with annual precipitation.
PC16036Histological analysis of hatchlings of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, from water impoundments reveals fundamental flaws in development
Anomalies in young of the Australian lungfish are now found in altered environments but not in fish collected from natural rivers. The cause of abnormal development is the production of deficient eggs by adult lungfish that are not well fed. This has serious implications for survival of the species, since most lungfish habitats are now altered.
PC16019An isolated population of the southern scrub-robin (Drymodes brunneopygia) in the Great Victoria Desert
This paper documents an isolated and fragmented population of the southern scrub-robin at the arid extreme of the species’ range. We discuss the species’ occurrence, habitat and vulnerability in the Great Victoria Desert.
Using high-throughput sequencing, 68 Phytophthora species were detected from eDNA extracted from 640 soils samples collected from native ecosystems around Australia. Many of the species detected have a global distribution, but 30% were identified as potentially new taxa. Australian databases are biased toward Phytophthora species common in agriculture, and the additional records provided valuable baseline for future studies.
The management of predators requires balance between conservation and management aims. Fraser Island is an example where lethal control is used to manage human–dingo conflict. It is posited that traditional lethal control management strategies result in social instability of predator populations that may increase conflict.
In New Zealand, cats are a contentious topic – considered valued companion animals by some and introduced pests by others. This paper reviews current knowledge about domestic cats in urban New Zealand and makes suggestions for future research which may underpin future cat management legislation.
PC16023Habitat use by grey-crowned babbler, Pomatostomus temporalis, in urban and peri-urban environments
If key habitat structures are maintained, native fauna species may still inhabit urban environments after habitat loss. Grey-crowned babblers in Dubbo NSW behaved similarly in urban and peri-urban areas with small differences based on habitat availability. Managers of urban parklands should provide foraging substrates for a variety of woodland bird species.
PC16004Changes in the distribution of reports of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) after 16 years of local conservation initiatives at Gunnedah, north-west New South Wales, Australia
Revegetation for salinity control in Gunnedah Shire during the 1990s provided the opportunity to enhance koala habitat and increase local awareness. Surveys 16 years apart show that koalas became more widely reported in the agricultural areas of the shire, and the urban areas became the core of their reported distribution.
PC16013Floristics, dominance and diversity within the threatened Themeda grassy headlands of the North Coast Bioregion of New South Wales
In Themeda-dominated assemblages increasing biomass depth and a reduction in macropod grazing impact reduced plot species and trait richness and diversity. This was associated with a shift in assemblage identity. All three Themeda assemblages should be maintained in order to promote landscape diversity. Frequent fire is likely to cause homogenisation and loss of important components including listed threatened taxa.
We used interviews with villagers of different generations to quantify the changes in commercially important shellfish, including giant clams (Tridacna spp.) in Fiji. Our results show that older generations remembered a more abundant ecosystem as well as larger clams. Younger generations however did not perceive this shift in an ecological baseline.
PC16025Introduced social bees reduce nectar availability during the breeding season of the swift parrot (Lathamus discolor)
The Swift Parrot Recovery Plan includes competition for nectar and pollen from introduced social bees as a threatening process. Here, we present the strongest evidence yet to support this theory. Bees consumed most nectar from the species of trees that are important to swift parrots during their breeding season.
PC16011Mapping foraging habitat for migratory shorebirds in their Australian non-breeding grounds and prioritising sites for conservation and management
This study demonstrates methods to map important shorebird habitat using GIS to provide coastal zone managers a tool to enhance consideration of shorebird habitat within the management framework. Habitat values were assessed against a range of criteria and sites considered of high value that were heavily disturbed were prioritised for management.
This paper investigates the effect of deployment time, camera array size and number of sites on detection of saxicoline mammals and varanid species in northern Australia and presents an analysis method for optimising decisions about how a limited number of cameras should be deployed across sites.
PC15029Prevalence of interactions between Hawaiian monk seals (Nemonachus schauinslandi) and nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands
We determine the prevalence and characteristics of interactions between the Hawaiian monk seal (Nemonachus schauinslandi) and nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands and examine impacts to the subpopulation
These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
Ecologists, economics and politics: problems and contradictions in applying neoliberal ideology to nature conservation in Australia
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