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Effects of fragmented habitat and fire on the distribution and ecology of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the Eastern Otways, Victoria

Wilson, Barbara, Aberton, John and Reichl, Tim 2001, Effects of fragmented habitat and fire on the distribution and ecology of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the Eastern Otways, Victoria, Wildlife research, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 527-536, doi: 10.1071/WR00016.

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Title Effects of fragmented habitat and fire on the distribution and ecology of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the Eastern Otways, Victoria
Formatted title Effects of fragmented habitat and fire on the distribution and ecology of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the Eastern Otways, Victoria
Author(s) Wilson, Barbara
Aberton, John
Reichl, Tim
Journal name Wildlife research
Volume number 28
Issue number 5
Start page 527
End page 536
Publisher Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation with the cooperation of the Australian Academy of Science
Place of publication East Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2001
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Summary This study investigated the distribution, habitat and population dynamics of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the eastern Otway Ranges. The species has a restricted, disjunct distribution and has been recorded at 25 sites between 1969 and 1999. All sites were located within 7 km of the coast, occurred at altitudes up to 80 m above sea level and within 10 m of a gully. Analysis of landscape site variables identified sun index as being significant in determination of the probability of occurrence of A. minimus. The presence of A. minimus is negatively associated with sun index, occuring at sites that have a southerly aspect and gentle slope. A. minimus was located in a range of structural vegetation including Open Forest, Low Woodland, Shrubland and Hummock Grassland and a number of floristic groups, some characterised by high frequencies of sclerophyll shrubs, others by high frequencies of Pteridium esculentum, hummock grasses and herbaceous species. A. minimus occurs in fragmented, small populations with maximum population densities of 1.1–18 ha–1. Populations at inland sites became extinct after the 1983 wildfire which burnt 41 000 ha. These sites have not been recolonised since, while on the coast the species did not re-establish until 1993–97. One population that is restricted to a narrow coastal strip of habitat is characterised by high levels of transient animals. The species is subject to extinction in the region due to habitat fragmentation, coastal developments and fire. Management actions to secure the present populations and ensure long-term survival of the species in the area are required and include implementation of appropriate fire regimes, prevention of habitat fragmentation, revegetation of habitat, and establishment of corridor habitat.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/WR00016
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001352

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Ecology and Environment
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