Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands

Anthony D. Griffiths, Brooke Rankmore, Kym Brennan, John C.Z. Woinarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context Translocation is widely used to help avoid extinction of species from threatening processes. A fundamental objective of translocation is to establish self-sustaining populations; estimating demographic parameters is critical to assessing success of these programs and can also be used to support future management actions. Aims We estimated demographic parameters to evaluate the success of translocating the northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus to two islands (Astell and Pobassoo), in response to the threat posed by the introduced cane toad Rhinella marina on the Australian mainland. Methods We used capture-mark-recapture methods to monitor both populations at regular intervals from initial release in 2003 until 2009 and a one-off survey in 2014. Key results Relative abundance (trap success) increased exponentially in the first 4 years, declined, and then stabilised in subsequent years. The population of female northern quolls on Astell Island peaked in 2006 with an estimate of 3640 (95% CI 3022-4257), and on Pobassoo Island the peak was 2007 with 617 (95% CI 531-703) females. In 2014 the population had decreased to 2193 (95% CI 1920-2467) on Astell and 451 (95% CI 359-543) on Pobassoo. Apparent survival and body condition decreased significantly following the population peak, possibly related to density dependence. Conclusion Both populations of northern quolls reached their regulation phase after going through establishment and growth phases, which included exceeding carrying capacity. The pattern was similar between the populations. Implications Increased survival and recruitment at threat-free translocation sites contributes to successful establishment of self-sustaining populations.

LanguageEnglish
Pages238-247
Number of pages10
JournalWildlife Research
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Fingerprint

translocation
evaluation
demographic statistics
parameter
mark-recapture method
toad
density dependence
body condition
marina
carrying capacity
relative abundance
extinction
regulation
programme
method
Bufo marinus
methodology
Dasyurus
traps
monitoring

Cite this

Griffiths, A. D., Rankmore, B., Brennan, K., & Woinarski, J. C. Z. (2017). Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands. Wildlife Research, 44(3), 238-247. DOI: 10.1071/WR16165
Griffiths, Anthony D. ; Rankmore, Brooke ; Brennan, Kym ; Woinarski, John C.Z./ Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands. In: Wildlife Research. 2017 ; Vol. 44, No. 3. pp. 238-247
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abstract = "Context Translocation is widely used to help avoid extinction of species from threatening processes. A fundamental objective of translocation is to establish self-sustaining populations; estimating demographic parameters is critical to assessing success of these programs and can also be used to support future management actions. Aims We estimated demographic parameters to evaluate the success of translocating the northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus to two islands (Astell and Pobassoo), in response to the threat posed by the introduced cane toad Rhinella marina on the Australian mainland. Methods We used capture-mark-recapture methods to monitor both populations at regular intervals from initial release in 2003 until 2009 and a one-off survey in 2014. Key results Relative abundance (trap success) increased exponentially in the first 4 years, declined, and then stabilised in subsequent years. The population of female northern quolls on Astell Island peaked in 2006 with an estimate of 3640 (95\{%} CI 3022-4257), and on Pobassoo Island the peak was 2007 with 617 (95\{%} CI 531-703) females. In 2014 the population had decreased to 2193 (95\{%} CI 1920-2467) on Astell and 451 (95\{%} CI 359-543) on Pobassoo. Apparent survival and body condition decreased significantly following the population peak, possibly related to density dependence. Conclusion Both populations of northern quolls reached their regulation phase after going through establishment and growth phases, which included exceeding carrying capacity. The pattern was similar between the populations. Implications Increased survival and recruitment at threat-free translocation sites contributes to successful establishment of self-sustaining populations.",
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Griffiths, AD, Rankmore, B, Brennan, K & Woinarski, JCZ 2017, 'Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands' Wildlife Research, vol 44, no. 3, pp. 238-247. DOI: 10.1071/WR16165

Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands. / Griffiths, Anthony D.; Rankmore, Brooke; Brennan, Kym; Woinarski, John C.Z.

In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2017, p. 238-247.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Woinarski,John C.Z.

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N2 - Context Translocation is widely used to help avoid extinction of species from threatening processes. A fundamental objective of translocation is to establish self-sustaining populations; estimating demographic parameters is critical to assessing success of these programs and can also be used to support future management actions. Aims We estimated demographic parameters to evaluate the success of translocating the northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus to two islands (Astell and Pobassoo), in response to the threat posed by the introduced cane toad Rhinella marina on the Australian mainland. Methods We used capture-mark-recapture methods to monitor both populations at regular intervals from initial release in 2003 until 2009 and a one-off survey in 2014. Key results Relative abundance (trap success) increased exponentially in the first 4 years, declined, and then stabilised in subsequent years. The population of female northern quolls on Astell Island peaked in 2006 with an estimate of 3640 (95% CI 3022-4257), and on Pobassoo Island the peak was 2007 with 617 (95% CI 531-703) females. In 2014 the population had decreased to 2193 (95% CI 1920-2467) on Astell and 451 (95% CI 359-543) on Pobassoo. Apparent survival and body condition decreased significantly following the population peak, possibly related to density dependence. Conclusion Both populations of northern quolls reached their regulation phase after going through establishment and growth phases, which included exceeding carrying capacity. The pattern was similar between the populations. Implications Increased survival and recruitment at threat-free translocation sites contributes to successful establishment of self-sustaining populations.

AB - Context Translocation is widely used to help avoid extinction of species from threatening processes. A fundamental objective of translocation is to establish self-sustaining populations; estimating demographic parameters is critical to assessing success of these programs and can also be used to support future management actions. Aims We estimated demographic parameters to evaluate the success of translocating the northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus to two islands (Astell and Pobassoo), in response to the threat posed by the introduced cane toad Rhinella marina on the Australian mainland. Methods We used capture-mark-recapture methods to monitor both populations at regular intervals from initial release in 2003 until 2009 and a one-off survey in 2014. Key results Relative abundance (trap success) increased exponentially in the first 4 years, declined, and then stabilised in subsequent years. The population of female northern quolls on Astell Island peaked in 2006 with an estimate of 3640 (95% CI 3022-4257), and on Pobassoo Island the peak was 2007 with 617 (95% CI 531-703) females. In 2014 the population had decreased to 2193 (95% CI 1920-2467) on Astell and 451 (95% CI 359-543) on Pobassoo. Apparent survival and body condition decreased significantly following the population peak, possibly related to density dependence. Conclusion Both populations of northern quolls reached their regulation phase after going through establishment and growth phases, which included exceeding carrying capacity. The pattern was similar between the populations. Implications Increased survival and recruitment at threat-free translocation sites contributes to successful establishment of self-sustaining populations.

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JF - Wildlife Research

SN - 1035-3712

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Griffiths AD, Rankmore B, Brennan K, Woinarski JCZ. Demographic evaluation of translocating the threatened northern quoll to two Australian islands. Wildlife Research. 2017;44(3):238-247. Available from, DOI: 10.1071/WR16165