How does the eastern bristlebird population respond to fire?
Ecological disturbance is widely recognised as a major driver of community diversity, but its role in shaping patterns of genetic diversity and population patterns has largely been overlooked.
The Threatened Species Hub and The Australian National University are seeking an environmental science student to look into this role by applying their ability to independently plan and execute field-based research. Candidates with specialist skills in genetic analysis will be considered favourably.
While the eastern bristlebird population is believed to have increased in parts of Booderee National Park since a wildfire in 2003, recent evidence suggests that it is the combination of wildfire and post-fire predation by feral predators that is the most likely reason for their decline.
The successful candidate will work closely with Parks Australia and the Department of Defence in Booderee National Park to characterise the demography and genetic structure of the bristlebird population. It is anticipated that by the conclusion of the project that the student would be in a strong position to inform fire and feral predator management strategies.
For further details about this opportunity, click here.
Image: Eastern bristlebird by D Cook
We are receiving an additional $2 million to deliver science to support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of work now faces the added and acute challenge of COVID-19.
Predation by cats is a key threat to at least 123 threatened species in Australia. Better understanding and reducing the impact of feral cats on susceptible wildlife has been a major area of research for the hub.
One of the post-fire challenges to population recovery that many native species will face is increased risk of predation, including by introduced foxes and cats.
Chief Science Officer John Kanowski and Regional Ecologist SW Michael Smith from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy discuss the far-reaching work their team is doing to protect vulnerable mammals from introduced predators.
Oliver Tester from the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner tells us about the Australian Government’s action on feral cats.