Charles Darwin University

CDU eSpace
Institutional Repository

 
CDU Staff and Student only
 

An Island-wide monitoring program demonstrates decline in reporting rate for the Christmas Island flying-fox Pteropus melanotus natalis

Woinarski, John C. Z., Flakus, Samantha, James, David J., Tiernan, Brendan, Dale, Gemma J. and Detto, Tanya (2014). An Island-wide monitoring program demonstrates decline in reporting rate for the Christmas Island flying-fox Pteropus melanotus natalis. Acta Chiropterologica,16(1):117-127.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 1
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar

IRMA ID 75039815xPUB255
Title An Island-wide monitoring program demonstrates decline in reporting rate for the Christmas Island flying-fox Pteropus melanotus natalis
Author Woinarski, John C. Z.
Flakus, Samantha
James, David J.
Tiernan, Brendan
Dale, Gemma J.
Detto, Tanya
Journal Name Acta Chiropterologica
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 16
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1508-1109   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84906258458
Start Page 117
End Page 127
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication Poland
Publisher Polska Akademia Nauk * Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii,Polish Academy of Sciences, Museum & Institute of Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Flying-foxes (Pteropodidae) show a high rate of island endemism, but island-endemic taxa have shown a high rate of decline and extinction, mostly because their small population sizes are susceptible to hunting pressure and habitat loss. The Christmas Island flying-fox is restricted to the 135 Km 2 Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), as either an endemic species Pteropus natalis or a markedly distinct subspecies of Pteropus melanotus. Given recent declines and extinctions of other native vertebrate species on this Island, this study sought to monitor population trends for this taxon. Monitoring flying-foxes at roost sites is difficult because they are highly vagile, not all roost sites may be known to observers, and dense vegetation at some sites may make counts inaccurate. These constraints are particularly evident on Christmas Island. In this study, we sought to establish a monitoring program complementary to roost counts, and to assess changes in reporting rate from a baseline sampling of 107 sites spaced across the Island in 2006 to a repeat sampling of those sites in 2012. Every site was visited four times, at night, over a period of 4-6 weeks in June-July of 2006 and of 2012, and observers reported whether or not they heard or saw flying-foxes around the sample site. A reporting incidence measure (varying from 0 to 4) was derived for every site. This measure showed a significant decline (of 39%) between the 2006 and 2012 sampling. The observed rate of decline suggests that this taxon is of considerable conservation concern, and merits further conservation action: indeed in 2014 its Australian conservation status was changed from not listed to Critically Endangered. The cause of the current decline is not yet known, but this study indicates that factors additional to hunting and habitat loss may affect island flying-fox species.
Keywords endemic
island
monitoring
pteropodid
threatened species
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3161/150811014X683336   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 47 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 12:05:37 CST