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Logging and wildfire limit the distribution of a vulnerable arboreal mammal

journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-01, 00:00 authored by Matthew LefoeMatthew Lefoe, Anthony RendallAnthony Rendall, Freya McKinnon, Desley WhissonDesley Whisson
Habitat loss and degradation are two of the greatest threats to biodiversity conservation globally. In Australia, the incidence of wildfire and native forest logging contribute substantially to these processes and have been linked to reduced species diversity and abundance. Arboreal species such as the Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis), are thought to be susceptible to these disturbances due to their reliance on large patches of forest and hollow-bearing trees. We aimed to assess the impact of logging and wildfire on site occupancy by the Yellow-bellied Glider in Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria. We deployed autonomous recording units for 14 nights at 70 sites and searched recordings for Yellow-bellied Glider vocalisations. Yellow-bellied Gliders were detected at 30% (N = 21) of sites. Site occupancy increased with an increasing proportion of the landscape (within 400 m of the recorder) that had not been logged within the last 100 years or burnt by wildfire within the last 10 years. Habitat disturbance caused by logging and fire therefore limit the site occupancy of Yellow-bellied Gliders and likely impact its conservation status. It is therefore critical that appropriate management of timber resources protects large patches of old-growth forest providing food resources and hollows, and the connectivity between large forest patches.

History

Journal

Forest Ecology and Management

Volume

503

Article number

119773

Pagination

1-8

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0378-1127

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Elsevier