Havens for threatened Australian mammals

The contributions of fenced areas and offshore islands to the protection of mammal species susceptible to introduced predators

Sarah Legge, John C.Z. Woinarski, Andrew A. Burbidge, Russell Palmer, Jeremy Ringma, James Q. Radford, Nicola Mitchell, Michael Bode, Brendan Wintle, Marcus Baseler, Joss Bentley, Peter Copley, Nicholas Dexter, Chris R. Dickman, Graeme R. Gillespie, Brydie Hill, Chris N. Johnson, Peter Latch, Mike Letnic, Adrian Manning & 7 others Erin E. McCreless, Peter Menkhorst, Keith Morris, Katherine Moseby, Manda Page, David Pannell, Katherine Tuft

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    Abstract

    Context: Many Australian mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by introduced domestic cats (Felis catus) and European red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). These predators have caused many extinctions and have driven large distributional and population declines for many more species. The serendipitous occurrence of, and deliberate translocations of mammals to, 'havens' (cat- A nd fox-free offshore islands, and mainland fenced exclosures capable of excluding cats and foxes) has helped avoid further extinction.

    Aims: The aim of this study was to conduct a stocktake of current island and fenced havens in Australia and assess the extent of their protection for threatened mammal taxa that are most susceptible to cat and fox predation.

    Methods: Information was collated from diverse sources to document (1) the locations of havens and (2) the occurrence of populations of predator-susceptible threatened mammals (naturally occurring or translocated) in those havens. The list of predator-susceptible taxa (67 taxa, 52 species) was based on consensus opinion from >25 mammal experts.

    Key results: Seventeen fenced and 101 island havens contain 188 populations of 38 predator-susceptible threatened mammal taxa (32 species). Island havens cover a larger cumulative area than fenced havens (2152 km2 versus 346 km2), and reach larger sizes (largest island 325 km2, with another island of 628 km2 becoming available from 2018; largest fence: 123 km2). Islands and fenced havens contain similar numbers of taxa (27 each), because fenced havens usually contain more taxa per haven. Populations within fences are mostly translocated (43 of 49; 88%). Islands contain translocated populations (30 of 139; 22%); but also protect in situ (109) threatened mammal populations.

    Conclusions: Havens are used increasingly to safeguard threatened predator-susceptible mammals. However, 15 such taxa occur in only one or two havens, and 29 such taxa (43%) are not represented in any havens. The taxon at greatest risk of extinction from predation, and in greatest need of a haven, is the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus).

    Implications: Future investment in havens should focus on locations that favour taxa with no (or low) existing haven representation. Although havens can be critical for avoiding extinctions in the short term, they cover a minute proportion of species' former ranges. Improved options for controlling the impacts of cats and foxes at landscape scales must be developed and implemented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)627-644
    Number of pages18
    JournalWildlife Research
    Volume45
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018

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    mammal
    predator
    mammals
    predators
    foxes
    cats
    extinction
    predation
    fences
    Vulpes vulpes
    population decline
    translocation
    rock

    Cite this

    Legge, Sarah ; Woinarski, John C.Z. ; Burbidge, Andrew A. ; Palmer, Russell ; Ringma, Jeremy ; Radford, James Q. ; Mitchell, Nicola ; Bode, Michael ; Wintle, Brendan ; Baseler, Marcus ; Bentley, Joss ; Copley, Peter ; Dexter, Nicholas ; Dickman, Chris R. ; Gillespie, Graeme R. ; Hill, Brydie ; Johnson, Chris N. ; Latch, Peter ; Letnic, Mike ; Manning, Adrian ; McCreless, Erin E. ; Menkhorst, Peter ; Morris, Keith ; Moseby, Katherine ; Page, Manda ; Pannell, David ; Tuft, Katherine. / Havens for threatened Australian mammals : The contributions of fenced areas and offshore islands to the protection of mammal species susceptible to introduced predators. In: Wildlife Research. 2018 ; Vol. 45, No. 7. pp. 627-644.
    @article{a38f293709d84b1c8609575c818b5cf4,
    title = "Havens for threatened Australian mammals: The contributions of fenced areas and offshore islands to the protection of mammal species susceptible to introduced predators",
    abstract = "Context: Many Australian mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by introduced domestic cats (Felis catus) and European red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). These predators have caused many extinctions and have driven large distributional and population declines for many more species. The serendipitous occurrence of, and deliberate translocations of mammals to, 'havens' (cat- A nd fox-free offshore islands, and mainland fenced exclosures capable of excluding cats and foxes) has helped avoid further extinction. Aims: The aim of this study was to conduct a stocktake of current island and fenced havens in Australia and assess the extent of their protection for threatened mammal taxa that are most susceptible to cat and fox predation. Methods: Information was collated from diverse sources to document (1) the locations of havens and (2) the occurrence of populations of predator-susceptible threatened mammals (naturally occurring or translocated) in those havens. The list of predator-susceptible taxa (67 taxa, 52 species) was based on consensus opinion from >25 mammal experts. Key results: Seventeen fenced and 101 island havens contain 188 populations of 38 predator-susceptible threatened mammal taxa (32 species). Island havens cover a larger cumulative area than fenced havens (2152 km2 versus 346 km2), and reach larger sizes (largest island 325 km2, with another island of 628 km2 becoming available from 2018; largest fence: 123 km2). Islands and fenced havens contain similar numbers of taxa (27 each), because fenced havens usually contain more taxa per haven. Populations within fences are mostly translocated (43 of 49; 88{\%}). Islands contain translocated populations (30 of 139; 22{\%}); but also protect in situ (109) threatened mammal populations. Conclusions: Havens are used increasingly to safeguard threatened predator-susceptible mammals. However, 15 such taxa occur in only one or two havens, and 29 such taxa (43{\%}) are not represented in any havens. The taxon at greatest risk of extinction from predation, and in greatest need of a haven, is the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Implications: Future investment in havens should focus on locations that favour taxa with no (or low) existing haven representation. Although havens can be critical for avoiding extinctions in the short term, they cover a minute proportion of species' former ranges. Improved options for controlling the impacts of cats and foxes at landscape scales must be developed and implemented.",
    keywords = "conservation management, introduced species, islands, pest control, predation, threatened species, wildlife management",
    author = "Sarah Legge and Woinarski, {John C.Z.} and Burbidge, {Andrew A.} and Russell Palmer and Jeremy Ringma and Radford, {James Q.} and Nicola Mitchell and Michael Bode and Brendan Wintle and Marcus Baseler and Joss Bentley and Peter Copley and Nicholas Dexter and Dickman, {Chris R.} and Gillespie, {Graeme R.} and Brydie Hill and Johnson, {Chris N.} and Peter Latch and Mike Letnic and Adrian Manning and McCreless, {Erin E.} and Peter Menkhorst and Keith Morris and Katherine Moseby and Manda Page and David Pannell and Katherine Tuft",
    year = "2018",
    month = "10",
    day = "3",
    doi = "10.1071/WR17172",
    language = "English",
    volume = "45",
    pages = "627--644",
    journal = "Wildlife Research",
    issn = "1035-3712",
    publisher = "CSIRO Publishing",
    number = "7",

    }

    Legge, S, Woinarski, JCZ, Burbidge, AA, Palmer, R, Ringma, J, Radford, JQ, Mitchell, N, Bode, M, Wintle, B, Baseler, M, Bentley, J, Copley, P, Dexter, N, Dickman, CR, Gillespie, GR, Hill, B, Johnson, CN, Latch, P, Letnic, M, Manning, A, McCreless, EE, Menkhorst, P, Morris, K, Moseby, K, Page, M, Pannell, D & Tuft, K 2018, 'Havens for threatened Australian mammals: The contributions of fenced areas and offshore islands to the protection of mammal species susceptible to introduced predators', Wildlife Research, vol. 45, no. 7, pp. 627-644. https://doi.org/10.1071/WR17172

    Havens for threatened Australian mammals : The contributions of fenced areas and offshore islands to the protection of mammal species susceptible to introduced predators. / Legge, Sarah; Woinarski, John C.Z.; Burbidge, Andrew A.; Palmer, Russell; Ringma, Jeremy; Radford, James Q.; Mitchell, Nicola; Bode, Michael; Wintle, Brendan; Baseler, Marcus; Bentley, Joss; Copley, Peter; Dexter, Nicholas; Dickman, Chris R.; Gillespie, Graeme R.; Hill, Brydie; Johnson, Chris N.; Latch, Peter; Letnic, Mike; Manning, Adrian; McCreless, Erin E.; Menkhorst, Peter; Morris, Keith; Moseby, Katherine; Page, Manda; Pannell, David; Tuft, Katherine.

    In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 45, No. 7, 03.10.2018, p. 627-644.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Havens for threatened Australian mammals

    T2 - The contributions of fenced areas and offshore islands to the protection of mammal species susceptible to introduced predators

    AU - Legge, Sarah

    AU - Woinarski, John C.Z.

    AU - Burbidge, Andrew A.

    AU - Palmer, Russell

    AU - Ringma, Jeremy

    AU - Radford, James Q.

    AU - Mitchell, Nicola

    AU - Bode, Michael

    AU - Wintle, Brendan

    AU - Baseler, Marcus

    AU - Bentley, Joss

    AU - Copley, Peter

    AU - Dexter, Nicholas

    AU - Dickman, Chris R.

    AU - Gillespie, Graeme R.

    AU - Hill, Brydie

    AU - Johnson, Chris N.

    AU - Latch, Peter

    AU - Letnic, Mike

    AU - Manning, Adrian

    AU - McCreless, Erin E.

    AU - Menkhorst, Peter

    AU - Morris, Keith

    AU - Moseby, Katherine

    AU - Page, Manda

    AU - Pannell, David

    AU - Tuft, Katherine

    PY - 2018/10/3

    Y1 - 2018/10/3

    N2 - Context: Many Australian mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by introduced domestic cats (Felis catus) and European red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). These predators have caused many extinctions and have driven large distributional and population declines for many more species. The serendipitous occurrence of, and deliberate translocations of mammals to, 'havens' (cat- A nd fox-free offshore islands, and mainland fenced exclosures capable of excluding cats and foxes) has helped avoid further extinction. Aims: The aim of this study was to conduct a stocktake of current island and fenced havens in Australia and assess the extent of their protection for threatened mammal taxa that are most susceptible to cat and fox predation. Methods: Information was collated from diverse sources to document (1) the locations of havens and (2) the occurrence of populations of predator-susceptible threatened mammals (naturally occurring or translocated) in those havens. The list of predator-susceptible taxa (67 taxa, 52 species) was based on consensus opinion from >25 mammal experts. Key results: Seventeen fenced and 101 island havens contain 188 populations of 38 predator-susceptible threatened mammal taxa (32 species). Island havens cover a larger cumulative area than fenced havens (2152 km2 versus 346 km2), and reach larger sizes (largest island 325 km2, with another island of 628 km2 becoming available from 2018; largest fence: 123 km2). Islands and fenced havens contain similar numbers of taxa (27 each), because fenced havens usually contain more taxa per haven. Populations within fences are mostly translocated (43 of 49; 88%). Islands contain translocated populations (30 of 139; 22%); but also protect in situ (109) threatened mammal populations. Conclusions: Havens are used increasingly to safeguard threatened predator-susceptible mammals. However, 15 such taxa occur in only one or two havens, and 29 such taxa (43%) are not represented in any havens. The taxon at greatest risk of extinction from predation, and in greatest need of a haven, is the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Implications: Future investment in havens should focus on locations that favour taxa with no (or low) existing haven representation. Although havens can be critical for avoiding extinctions in the short term, they cover a minute proportion of species' former ranges. Improved options for controlling the impacts of cats and foxes at landscape scales must be developed and implemented.

    AB - Context: Many Australian mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by introduced domestic cats (Felis catus) and European red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). These predators have caused many extinctions and have driven large distributional and population declines for many more species. The serendipitous occurrence of, and deliberate translocations of mammals to, 'havens' (cat- A nd fox-free offshore islands, and mainland fenced exclosures capable of excluding cats and foxes) has helped avoid further extinction. Aims: The aim of this study was to conduct a stocktake of current island and fenced havens in Australia and assess the extent of their protection for threatened mammal taxa that are most susceptible to cat and fox predation. Methods: Information was collated from diverse sources to document (1) the locations of havens and (2) the occurrence of populations of predator-susceptible threatened mammals (naturally occurring or translocated) in those havens. The list of predator-susceptible taxa (67 taxa, 52 species) was based on consensus opinion from >25 mammal experts. Key results: Seventeen fenced and 101 island havens contain 188 populations of 38 predator-susceptible threatened mammal taxa (32 species). Island havens cover a larger cumulative area than fenced havens (2152 km2 versus 346 km2), and reach larger sizes (largest island 325 km2, with another island of 628 km2 becoming available from 2018; largest fence: 123 km2). Islands and fenced havens contain similar numbers of taxa (27 each), because fenced havens usually contain more taxa per haven. Populations within fences are mostly translocated (43 of 49; 88%). Islands contain translocated populations (30 of 139; 22%); but also protect in situ (109) threatened mammal populations. Conclusions: Havens are used increasingly to safeguard threatened predator-susceptible mammals. However, 15 such taxa occur in only one or two havens, and 29 such taxa (43%) are not represented in any havens. The taxon at greatest risk of extinction from predation, and in greatest need of a haven, is the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Implications: Future investment in havens should focus on locations that favour taxa with no (or low) existing haven representation. Although havens can be critical for avoiding extinctions in the short term, they cover a minute proportion of species' former ranges. Improved options for controlling the impacts of cats and foxes at landscape scales must be developed and implemented.

    KW - conservation management

    KW - introduced species

    KW - islands

    KW - pest control

    KW - predation

    KW - threatened species

    KW - wildlife management

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85055575211&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1071/WR17172

    DO - 10.1071/WR17172

    M3 - Article

    VL - 45

    SP - 627

    EP - 644

    JO - Wildlife Research

    JF - Wildlife Research

    SN - 1035-3712

    IS - 7

    ER -