Modelling habitat suitability of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the coastal heathlands of southern Victoria, Australia

Gibson, Lesley A., Wilson, Barbara, Cahill, David and Hill, John 2004, Modelling habitat suitability of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the coastal heathlands of southern Victoria, Australia, Biological conservation, vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 143-150.

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Title Modelling habitat suitability of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the coastal heathlands of southern Victoria, Australia
Formatted title Modelling habitat suitability of the swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) in the coastal heathlands of southern Victoria, Australia
Author(s) Gibson, Lesley A.
Wilson, Barbara
Cahill, David
Hill, John
Journal name Biological conservation
Volume number 117
Issue number 2
Start page 143
End page 150
Publisher Elsevier BV
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publication date 2004-05
ISSN 0006-3207
1873-2917
Keyword(s) geographic information system
Antechinus minimus
logistic regression
akaike information criterion
habitat model
Summary In recent years, predictive habitat distribution models, derived by combining multivariate statistical analyses with Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, have been recognised for their utility in conservation planning. The size and spatial arrangement of suitable habitat can influence the long-term persistence of some faunal species. In southwestern Victoria, Australia, populations of the rare swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus maritimus) are threatened by further fragmentation of suitable habitat. In the current study, a spatially explicit habitat suitability model was developed for A. minimus that incorporated a measure of vegetation structure. Models were generated using logistic regression with species presence or absence as the dependent variable and landscape variables, extracted from both GIS data layers and multi-spectral digital imagery, as the predictors. The most parsimonious model, based on the Akaike Information Criterion, was spatially extrapolated in the GIS. Probability of species presence was used as an index of habitat suitability. A negative association between A. minimus presence and both elevation and habitat complexity was evidenced, suggesting a preference for relatively low altitudes and a vegetation structure of low vertical complexity. The predictive performance of the selected model was shown to be high (91%), indicating a good fit of the model to the data. The proportion of the study area predicted as suitable habitat for A. minimus (Probability of occurrence greater-or-equal, slanted0.5) was 11.7%. Habitat suitability maps not only provide baseline information about the spatial arrangement of potentially suitable habitat for a species, but they also help to refine the search for other populations, making them an important conservation tool.
Language eng
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Elsevier BV
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002751

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