Fauna monitoring programs and radio-tracking

Project approvals often require that the effectiveness of management plans are monitored, fauna in areas adjacent to the impacts are monitored or the results of revegetation or restoration programs are monitored. Terrestrial Ecosystems’ zoologists are very experienced in implementing fauna monitoring programs for these purposes.

Fauna monitoring should have a clear purpose, which typically is to inform subsequent management decisions, but data are also often used in reporting to regulators, providing input for performance or KPI reviews, or evaluating the success of fauna relocation programs.

Effective monitoring is based on good planning, and good monitoring programs typically are built on the before-after-control-impact (BACI) principles advocated in the peer-reviewed literature.

Terrestrial Ecosystems’ zoologists have experience in monitoring the success of relocation programs for conservation significant species (e.g. Northern Quoll, Mulgara, etc) and the maintenances of populations in or adjacent to development sites (e.g. Chuditch, Malleefowl, Western Whipbirds, Western Mouse, Western Brush Wallabies, Quenda or the generic fauna assemblage).

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, Thorny Devils, Rothschild Rock Wallabies, foxes, pythons and goannas.

Mulgara with a radio collar being released for monitoring (Photo: Edward Swinhoe)
Hatchling turtle
Using high vantage points while radio-tracking Northern Quoll in the Pilbara

Malleefowl on its mound

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