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Management of power line easement vegetation for small mammal conservation in Australia : a case study of the broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus)

Clarke, D. and White, John 2004, Management of power line easement vegetation for small mammal conservation in Australia : a case study of the broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus), in The Eighth International Symposium on Environmental Concerns in Rights-of-Way Management, Elsevier B.V., Amsterdamn, Netherlands, pp. 467-477.

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Title Management of power line easement vegetation for small mammal conservation in Australia : a case study of the broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus)
Author(s) Clarke, D.
White, JohnORCID iD for White, John orcid.org/0000-0002-7375-5944
Conference name International Symposium on Environmental Concerns in Rights-of-Way Management (8th : 2004 : Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Conference location Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Conference dates 12-16 September 2004
Title of proceedings The Eighth International Symposium on Environmental Concerns in Rights-of-Way Management
Editor(s) Goodrich-Mahoney, John W.
Abrahamson, Lawrence P.
Ballard, Jennifer L.
Tikalsky, Susan M.
Publication date 2004
Start page 467
End page 477
Publisher Elsevier B.V.
Place of publication Amsterdamn, Netherlands
Summary Within Australia, very little attention has been given to the potential biodiversity benefits of power line easements, if ecologically sensitive management regimes are developed. This study examined the potential power line easements may have for the conservation of small mammals, and in particular the near threatened, Broad-toothed Rat Mastacomys fuscus, in Australia. Easement vegetation was found to support a diverse small mammal community, including M. fuscus if the vegetation was allowed to develop some structural complexity. M. fuscus was one of the first species to recolonize the easement habitat, provided that the areas had regenerated to a sufficient level. Results suggests; however, that the current management technique used, where the entire easement is managed at one time via mass slashing, on short rotation times, is most likely limiting M. fuscus to low abundances, and causing isolation of the current M. fuscus populations. To ensure that power line easements supply functional, usable habitat for small mammals and other species and to minimize their potential to fragment small mammal populations, it is recommended that current management techniques be reassessed. In an effort to develop more appropriate management regimes, it was recommended that rotation times be increased between management, that mass slashing of the easement at one time be reassessed, especially in naturally low growing areas and that rotational type slashing be implemented. Other techniques such as spot spraying, may be all that is needed within some areas to control emergent saplings. This study highlights that potential biodiversity values do exist for Australian power line easements, if some changes occur to the current management practices.
ISBN 9780444532237
0444532234
Language eng
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
HERDC collection year 2008
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018070

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