Spatial modelling of bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) pellets within a predator-proof enclosure

Lollback, Gregory W. and Dunwoody, J. Ernest and Mebberson, Rachel and Shuker, Jonathan D. and Page, Tahlie and Hayles, Sarann J. and Rakotopare, Nicolas and Liu, Xiaoye and Hero, Jean-Marc (2018) Spatial modelling of bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) pellets within a predator-proof enclosure. Australian Mammalogy, 40 (1). pp. 93-102. ISSN 0310-0049

Abstract

A traditional design-reliant estimate of abundance is calculated by multiplying a density estimate obtained from transects to reflect the size of the study area. This type of estimate tells nothing about the nature of a species’ distribution between the samples. In contrast, model-based inference can better estimate abundance by interpolating transect estimates over the study area with the aid of covariates. This study used density surface modelling (DSM) to predict spatial distribution of greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) pellets within a predator-proof enclosure at Currawinya National Park, south-west Queensland. Pellets and latrines were counted using distance sampling and plot sampling on 30 PPBio plots during 2012 and 2014. Pellets and latrines were not strongly associated with habitat features, reflecting the generalist nature of both species. Bilby pellets were found on 23 plots in 2012 and 5 plots in 2014. Rabbit pellets were present on 29 plots in 2012 and 16 plots during 2014. These substantial declines in pellet abundances coincided with invasion of the feral cat (Felis catus) into the enclosure. While DSM modelling can allow managers to make informed decisions about applying survey effort or management practices, it is not suited to all species or situations.


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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: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 05:20
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018 01:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: distance sampling, pellet, PPBio, predation
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/AM16045
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34901

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