Fauna monitoring programs and radio-tracking

It is best practice and often an approval condition that the success of fauna relocation programs are monitored. Similarly, Ministerial approvals often require that potential impacts on fauna in areas adjacent to developments and infrastructure (e.g. Southern Brown Bandicoots, Western Ringtail Possums, Mulgara, Bilby) are regularly monitored so that adaptive management procedures can be implemented to mitigate and minimise impacts.

Terrestrial Ecosystems can design and implement simple through to complex Before-After-Control-Impact based monitoring programs that provide a high level of confidence in the data collected.

Rehabilitation and Degradation Index

Terrestrial Ecosystems use the Rehabilitation and Degradation Index (RDI; Thompson et al. 2008) to assess differences in the fauna between control and impact sites to measure rehabilitation success, or areas that have been degraded (e.g. by agriculture and mining) by comparing fauna assemblages in these areas with undisturbed analogue sites. The RDI is a science based, robust tool that provides a weighted score out of 100 using measures of diversity, assemblage composition and ecological parameters.

Radio-tracking to monitoring fauna

Terrestrial Ecosystems is experienced in using radio-transmitters and GPS radio-tracking techniques on animals and periodically locating them to record movement patterns after during wildlife research or fauna relocation programs. One use of this technology is to determine whether conservation significant fauna are at risk during a development project or for collecting basic biological and ecological data about a species that can be used in the development of effective management plans. Terrestrial Ecosystems staff have radio-tracked multiple species including Mulgara, Northern Quoll, Rothschild Rock Wallabies, Red-tailed Phascogales, red foxes, pythons and goannas.

 

Mulgara with radio-transmitter collar being released
Mulgara with a radio collar being released for monitoring (Photo: Edward Swinhoe)
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Hatchling turtle
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Woylie being released as part of a monitoring program
searching for NQ via radiotracking
Using high vantage points while radio-tracking Northern Quoll in the Pilbara
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Malleefowl on its mound

 

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