Persistence of a threatened species in a modified alpine resort environment: the broad-toothed rat

Whisson, Desley A., Holland, Greg J. and Kelly, Thomas R. 2015, Persistence of a threatened species in a modified alpine resort environment: the broad-toothed rat, Journal of mammalogy, vol. 96, no. 1, pp. 151-158, doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyu016.

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Title Persistence of a threatened species in a modified alpine resort environment: the broad-toothed rat
Author(s) Whisson, Desley A.ORCID iD for Whisson, Desley A.
Holland, Greg J.
Kelly, Thomas R.
Journal name Journal of mammalogy
Volume number 96
Issue number 1
Start page 151
End page 158
Total pages 8
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2015-02-15
ISSN 0022-2372
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
anthropogenic disturbance
habitat fragmentation
habitat requirements
home range
Mastacomys fuscus
Summary Habitat change due to resort development threatens rare and endemic fauna of alpine and subalpine regions. There is an urgent need to understand species persistence in such areas. The broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus) is a rare, specialist species found in alpine and subalpine regions of Australia. We conducted fecal pellet surveys in an alpine resort to determine the species' distribution and habitat requirements. Eight individuals were radiotracked to investigate movement patterns and habitat use. Fecal pellets were found in areas of dense vegetation cover up to 1 m above ground. Home ranges were small (1,488-6,106 m2) and encompassed managed indigenous vegetation on or beside ski runs. Five individuals regularly crossed a narrow (3-5 m) cleared track. Two adult males dispersed (including traversing a wide grassy ski run) up to 1 km. The ability to cross modified areas and move throughout the landscape is proposed as a key factor facilitating the persistence of M. fuscus in the resort. Enhancing the capacity of species to move between habitat patches should be incorporated into alpine resort management plans. Such management will become increasingly important as anthropogenic disturbance increases in alpine regions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/jmammal/gyu016
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Oxford University Press
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