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Research and management to reverse the decline of native mammal fauna - Final report

Gillespie, Graeme, Woinarski, John, Legge, Sarah, Fisher, Alaric, Webb, Jonathan, Shine, Rick, Stokeld, Danielle and Reiss, Andrea (2015). Research and management to reverse the decline of native mammal fauna - Final report<br />. Darwin, NT: Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Research Report
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Author Gillespie, Graeme
Woinarski, John
Legge, Sarah
Fisher, Alaric
Webb, Jonathan
Shine, Rick
Stokeld, Danielle
Reiss, Andrea
Title of Report Research and management to reverse the decline of native mammal fauna - Final report
Publication Date 2015
ISBN 978-1-925167-23-8   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Publisher Charles Darwin University
Place of Publication Darwin, NT
Total Pages 16
Field of Research 300800 Environmental Sciences
Abstract Summary of project and achievements
This project sought to characterise the conservation status of the mammal fauna in northern Australia, investigate factors that may be implicated in the decline of this fauna, and identify effective management responses.

Study components demonstrated that predation by feral cats caused extirpation of an experimentally reintroduced population of a native mammal species (Frank et al. 2014), and that feral cat impacts were much more severe in areas that had been extensively burnt (McGregor et al. 2014; Leahy et al. in review); but a cat exclosure fencing study in Kakadu (see photo below) failed to demonstrate beneficial response by native mammals, possibly because the study period was too brief and mammal populations in the area were too depleted. Mammal surveys across combinations of fire and grazing treatments in the Kimberley showed that the benefits of improving fire patterns to mammal richnessand abundance were significantly muted if introduced herbivores were present.

The first substantial assessment of the incidence of disease in mammal assemblages of northern Australia indicates the presence of some pathogens that may have lethal or sub-lethal impacts on native mammals, but there is uncertainty around their role in the current decline.
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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