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Terrestrial mammals of the Gnangara Groundwater System, Western Australia: history, status, and the possible impacts of a drying climate

journal contribution
posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Barbara Wilson, L E Valentine, A Reaveley, J Isaac, K M Wolfe
Over the last 30 years declining rainfall and increased aquifer abstraction have heavily impacted water
availability and ecosystems on the Gnangara Groundwater System (GGS). The mammal fauna of the area is considered to
have been rich, with up to 28 terrestrial and 5 volant native species recorded since European settlement. This study
investigated previous and current distribution of mammals on the GGS, and assessed potential impacts of predicted
rainfall and groundwater declines on mammals. A general survey was conducted at 40 sites, and targeted trapping was
undertaken for Hydromys chrysogaster and Isoodon obesulus fusciventer at wetlands. Nine native and seven introduced
terrestrial mammal species were recorded during the general survey and capture rates were very low (1.05%). The most
commonly captured native species was Tarsipes rostratus. There is evidence that only 11 (9 recorded and 2 considered
to be extant) of the 28 historically recorded terrestrial native mammals still persist in the area. The species predicted to be
most susceptible to rainfall and groundwater level declines include H. chrysogaster, I. obesulus fusciventer, and
T. rostratus. Management and recovery actions required to protect mammals under predicted climatic changes include
identification and maintenance of refugia and ecological linkages, supplementation of lakes, development of ecologically
appropriate fire regimes, and control of predators.

History

Journal

Australian Mammalogy

Volume

34

Issue

2

Pagination

202 - 202

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

0310-0049

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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