The disappearing mammal fauna of northern Australia : context, cause, and response

Woinarski, John C. Z., Legge, Sarah, Fitzsimons, James A., Traill, Barry J., Burbidge, Andrew A., Fisher, Alaric, Firth, Ron S. C., Gordon, Iain J., Griffiths, Anthony D., Johnson, Christopher N., McKenzie, Norm L., Palmer, Carol, Radford, Ian, Rankmore, Brooke, Ritchie, Euan G., Ward, Simon and Ziembicki, Mark 2011, The disappearing mammal fauna of northern Australia : context, cause, and response, Conservation letters, vol. 4, no. 3, June / July, pp. 192-201, doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00164.x.

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Title The disappearing mammal fauna of northern Australia : context, cause, and response
Author(s) Woinarski, John C. Z.
Legge, Sarah
Fitzsimons, James A.ORCID iD for Fitzsimons, James A.
Traill, Barry J.
Burbidge, Andrew A.
Fisher, Alaric
Firth, Ron S. C.
Gordon, Iain J.
Griffiths, Anthony D.
Johnson, Christopher N.
McKenzie, Norm L.
Palmer, Carol
Radford, Ian
Rankmore, Brooke
Ritchie, Euan G.ORCID iD for Ritchie, Euan G.
Ward, Simon
Ziembicki, Mark
Journal name Conservation letters
Volume number 4
Issue number 3
Season June / July
Start page 192
End page 201
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2011-06
ISSN 1755-263X
Keyword(s) cats
extinction processes
protected areas
Summary This article provides a context to, attempts an explanation for, and proposes a response to the recent demonstration of rapid and severe decline of the native mammal fauna of Kakadu National Park. This decline is consistent with, but might be more accentuated than, declines reported elsewhere in northern Australia; however, such a comparison is constrained by the sparse information base across this region. Disconcertingly, the decline has similarities with the earlier phase of mammal extinctions that occurred elsewhere in Australia. We considered four proximate factors (individually or interactively) that might be driving the observed decline: habitat change, predation (by feral cats), poisoning (by invading cane toads), and novel disease. No single factor readily explains the current decline. The current rapid decline of mammals in Kakadu National Park and northern Australia suggests that the fate of biodiversity globally might be even bleaker than evident in recent reviews, and that the establishment of conservation reserves alone is insufficient to maintain biodiversity. This latter conclusion is not new; but the results reported here further stress the need to manage reserves far more intensively, purposefully, and effectively, and to audit regularly their biodiversity conservation performance.

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Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00164.x
Field of Research 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
050102 Ecosystem Function
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Created: Fri, 14 Oct 2011, 12:10:46 EST by James Fitzsimons

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