Feral cat distribution, abundance, management and impacts on threatened species: collation and analysis of data
This project will improve our understanding of feral cat impacts and how to mitigate those impacts. At national scale, it will collate and analyse large and diverse sets of data to estimate cat distribution and abundance, and measure predation rates by cats on birds, reptiles and mammals, and to identify the ecological traits that make some species more susceptible to cat predation than others.
Can culling noisy miners benefit threatened woodland birds?
In recent decades across eastern Australia, noisy miner populations have expanded in fragmented agricultural landscapes. A communal, non-migratory, bird of considerable size (approximately 70g), they have aggressively outcompeted many other smaller species of native woodland birds. So concerning is this decline that in 2014, aggressive exclusion of woodland birds from potential habitat by noisy miners was listed as a Key Threatening Process under the EPBC Act.
Combatting an emerging disease threatening endangered Christmas Island reptiles
The blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko are critically endangered, currently extinct in the wild, and persist only within a captive breeding program. Recently, a new bacterial disease which causes facial deformity and death has emerged in the two species. This project will build on preliminary research to develop a critical understanding of the disease, how it interacts with the reptiles and their environments, and if and how it can be managed.
Arid Zone Monitoring: Surveys for vertebrates across arid and semi-arid zones
Monitoring animal populations in Australia’s sandy deserts is challenging. Desert species can be patchily distributed, at low densities, and have boom-bust cycles. As a result, we know little about the distribution, abundance, and status of desert wildlife. This project is working with indigenous and non-indigenous partners to collate and analyse this information, to produce a collective picture of the distributions of desert species and their threats, and how these are changing over time.
Translocation, reintroduction and conservation fencing for threatened fauna
Whether moving species into fenced areas, intensively managed habitats or outside its previous habitat - translocating threatened species presents a number of challenges. This project will research the most feasible and cost-effective translocation strategies to boost the size and long-term viability of wild populations. This will include improved planning for, and implementation of, translocations of mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs.
Assisted colonisation of Australia’s rarest reptile: The western swamp turtle
One of Australia’s rarest reptiles, the western swamp turtle, is being challenged by the rapidly drying climate in the southwest of Western Australia, which continues to marginalise its already fragmented habitat. In a world first, this project is field-testing the viability of introducing this Critically Endangered species to wetlands more than 300km south of its native range, in an effort to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
Enhancing ecosystem function by reintroductions of digging mammals
Many of Australia’s threatened species, such as bettongs and bandicoots, are considered ecosystem engineers due to the important functional role they provide in landscapes. Digging mammals can substantially influence ecosystem processes, such as soil turnover, litter decomposition and plant recruitment, by creating burrows for shelter or foraging pits when searching for food.
Optimising feral animal control to benefit threatened species on South East Queensland Islands
North Stradbroke Island –or Straddie– has important environmental and cultural values, many of which are being negatively impacted by invasive species, specifically European red foxes and feral cats. This research project aims to support invasive species eradication planning on Minjerribah by gathering relevant local knowledge about eradication strategies, feasibility, community values and time preferences, in order to better inform management objectives.
Norfolk Island threatened species conservation
Norfolk Island features a wide diversity of endemic species of flora and fauna, many of which have become threatened. Declines have largely been caused by historical land clearing and the introduction of invasive species of plants, mammals, birds and other species. This research seeks to examine the mechanisms driving native plant recruitment, along with an assessment of flora–fauna interaction networks, particularly native plant interactions with invasive weeds, rats and chickens. It will identify and quantify key threats and barriers to recruitment of native plant species.
Cat impacts and management: Knowledge exchange for stakeholders
In recent years, there has been considerable research, including work carried out by the TSR Hub, to improve our understanding of the impacts of feral cats on native wildlife, and to improve our capacity to manage those impacts. In this project, we will synthesise information on cat impacts, cat management and how to measure the management effectiveness of cat control and investigate the most appropriate means to disseminate this information.