The impact of landscape disturbance on the Yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis)

Lefoe, Matthew 2019, The impact of landscape disturbance on the Yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis), B.Environmental Science (Hons) thesis, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University.

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Title The impact of landscape disturbance on the Yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis)
Author Lefoe, Matthew
Institution Deakin University
School School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
Degree type Honours
Degree name B.Environmental Science (Hons)
Thesis advisor Whisson, DesleyORCID iD for Whisson, Desley orcid.org/0000-0002-4221-0706
Date submitted 2019-11-08
Keyword(s) landscape disturbance
yellow-bellied glider
distribution
vocalisations
Summary Context. The yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) is listed by the International
Union for Conservation of Nature as Near Threatened with declining populations. As
a hollow-dependant arboreal species, landscape disturbance from logging and
wildfire is thought to negatively impact the species. However, very little is known
about the response of yellow-bellied glider populations to these disturbance events.
Aims. The aim of this study was to determine the impact that logging and wildfire
disturbance has on site occupancy by yellow-bellied gliders in the Central Highlands,
Victoria.
Methods. I deployed an autonomous recording unit (ARU) at each of 70 sites across
the Central Highlands, Victoria. ARUs were programmed to record from 17:00h to
04:00h and left in place for two weeks. Yellow-bellied glider vocalisations were
identified in recordings, resulting in presence or absence data for the species at each
site. The proportion of forest within a 400m radius of each ARU impacted by logging
and wildfire was determined to assess their influence on site occupancy by yellowbellied
gliders.
Key results. There was a higher probability of yellow-bellied glider presence in sites
of low disturbance (44.5% occupancy) compared to high disturbance (12.7%
occupancy).
Conclusions. Increasing disturbance due to logging and wildfire results in a decrease
in site occupancy by yellow-bellied gliders.
Implications. The negative influence of disturbance on yellow-bellied gliders signals
a need to enact adaptive management to prevent further population declines.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Description of original 40 p.
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