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Oberlin College

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Australia: Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology

Abstract

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cat (Felis catus) are introduced mesopredators that significantly threaten native small mammal species in Australia. For decades, environmental managers have attempted to mitigate the effects of these introduced species. However, ecosystems are highly complex, making it difficult to assess the impacts of feral predators on communities of native fauna independent of other disturbances such as fire regime and habitat fragmentation. Cost-effective ecological monitoring programs are imperative for evaluating threats to native species and informing environmental decisions. New technology has become increasingly present in wildlife monitoring, and camera trapping has provided an alternative to traditional live trapping methods such as the use of wire cages. This study evaluates the function of live trap and camera trap methods in the context of two case studies of faunal monitoring projects in Victoria, Australia. The advantages and limitations of each method were examined for their project and site-based applications and broader role in biodiversity conservation. The investigation revealed that both live trapping and camera trapping represent valuable tools for ecological monitoring in the context of each project. The principal difference between the choice of sampling method pertained to individual project aims and scale.

Disciplines

Animal Studies | Australian Studies | Biodiversity | Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Environmental Monitoring | Zoology

 

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