Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Pacific Conservation Biology

Pacific Conservation Biology

Pacific Conservation Biology provides a forum for discussion about regional conservation problems; debate about priorities and mechanisms for conservation oriented biological research; and dissemination of the results of relevant research. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Mike Calver


Current Issue

Pacific Conservation Biology

Volume 22 Number 4 2016

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.

PC15039Changes in habitat use and distribution of mouflon in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Bronson Palupe, Christina R. Leopold, Steven C. Hess, Jonathan K. Faford, Dexter Pacheco and Seth W. Judge
pp. 308-311

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.

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.

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

David L. Morgan, Stephen J. Beatty, Paul G. Close, Mark G. Allen, Peter J. Unmack, Michael P. Hammer and Mark Adams
pp. 350-359

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.

PC16014Social landscape of the night parrot in western Queensland, Australia

Stephen T. Garnett, Mark Kleinschmidt, Micha V. Jackson, Kerstin K. Zander and Stephen A. Murphy
pp. 360-366

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.

PC15020Marine invasive species: establishing pathways, their presence and potential threats in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Inti Keith, Terence P. Dawson, Ken J. Collins and Marnie L. Campbell
pp. 377-385

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.

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.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 03 February 2017

PC16037Diet patterns of island foxes on San Nicolas Island relative to feral cat removal

Brian L. Cypher, Erica C. Kelly, Francesca J. Ferrara, Charles A. Drost, Tory L. Westall and Brian R. Hudgens

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.

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.

Published online 13 January 2017

PC16032Distribution and diversity of Phytophthora across Australia

Treena I. Burgess, Diane White, Keith M. McDougall, Jeff Garnas, William A. Dunstan, Santiago Català, Angus J. Carnegie, Stuart Worboys, David Cahill, Anna-Maria Vettraino, Michael J. C. Stukely, Edward C. Y. Liew, Trudy Paap, Tanay Bose, Duccio Migliorini, Briony Williams, Frances Brigg, Colin Crane, Timothy Rudman and Giles E. St. J. Hardy

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.

Published online 12 December 2016

PC16026Managing dingoes on Fraser Island: culling, conflict, and an alternative

Adam J. O'Neill, Kylie M. Cairns, Gisela Kaplan and Ernest Healy

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.

Published online 02 December 2016

PC16022Research challenges and conservation implications for urban cat management in New Zealand

K. Heidy Kikillus, Geoff K. Chambers, Mark J. Farnworth and Kelly M. Hare

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.

Published online 11 November 2016

PC16023Habitat use by grey-crowned babbler, Pomatostomus temporalis, in urban and peri-urban environments

Kathryn Teare Ada Lambert and Hugh Ford

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.

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.

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.

Published online 14 October 2016

PC16016Traditional ecological knowledge, shifting baselines, and conservation of Fijian molluscs

Karen Bao and Joshua Drew

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.

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.

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.

Published online 19 September 2016

PC16017Optimising camera trap deployment design across multiple sites for species inventory surveys

J. Smith, S. Legge, A. James and K. Tuft

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.

Published online 06 September 2016

PC15029Prevalence of interactions between Hawaiian monk seals (Nemonachus schauinslandi) and nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands

K. S. Gobush, T. A. Wurth, J. R. Henderson, B. L. Becker and C. L. Littnan

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

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Ivor Beatty Award

Bayard Brattstrom has been awarded the first Ivor Beatty Award.