Scat happens: spatiotemporal fluctuation in dingo scat collection rates

Allen, Benjamin L. ORCID: (2012) Scat happens: spatiotemporal fluctuation in dingo scat collection rates. Australian Journal of Zoology, 60 (2). pp. 137-140. ISSN 0004-959X


The number of dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats collected from an area has been used as a measure of pack stability in order to make inferences about dingo pack structures and function. In doing so, some studies sampling different sites at different times/seasons have been forced to assume that scat collection rates vary little throughout the year in order to attribute observed site/treatment differences to the effect of interventions (e.g. lethal control), rather than natural spatiotemporal variation in scat densities. In this study, 4112 dingo scats systematically collected from adjacent dingo-baited and unbaited areas at three arid-zone sites on a regular basis over 2–4 years are used to test this assumption. Scat collection rates varied between treatments, sites and surveys, with substantial differences occurring within a few weeks or months. Similar temporal trends between treatments at each site demonstrated that scat collection rates fluctuated independently of dingo control. It was concluded that observations of different scat collection rates between different sites sampled at different times may simply reflect normal spatiotemporal variability in scat densities, which may not reflect absolute dingo abundance.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 05:38
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 05:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Canis lupus dingo; defaecation; lethal control; pack structure; population indexing; scent-marking; social stability
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified
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