Habitat selection by the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in disturbed environments: Implications for the conservation of a 'common' species

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dc.contributor.author Roger, E
dc.contributor.author Laffan, SW
dc.contributor.author Ramp, D
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-02T07:52:50Z
dc.date.issued 2007-07
dc.identifier.citation Biological Conservation, 2007, 137 (3), pp. 437 - 449
dc.identifier.issn 0006-3207
dc.identifier.other C1UNSUBMIT en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/14931
dc.description.abstract The construction of habitat models is a repeatable technique for describing and mapping species distributions, the utility of which lies in enabling management to predict where a species is likely to occur within a landscape. Typically, habitat models have been used to establish habitat requirements for threatened species; however they have equal applicability for modelling local populations of common species. Often, few data exist on local populations of common species, and issues of abundance and habitat selection at varying scales are rarely addressed. We provide a habitat suitability model for the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in southern New South Wales. This species is currently perceived as abundant throughout its extensive range across temperate regions of eastern Australia, yet little factual survey data exist and populations appear under threat. We use wombat burrows to reflect habitat selection and as our basis for ecological modelling. We found that environmental variables representing proximity to cover, measures of vegetation and proximity to watercourses are important predictors of burrow presence. Extrapolation of habitat models identified an abundance of habitat suitable for burrows. However, burrows in many suitable areas were abandoned. Our estimate of the population size was similar to the total annual mortality associated with road-kill. Theoretically, given the availability of suitable habitat, common wombat populations in the region should be thriving. It seems likely that this area once supported a much higher number of wombats; however limiting factors such as road mortality and disease have reduced the populations. The persistence of wombats in the study region must be supported by migration from other populations. Our findings challenge the perception that wombats are currently common and not in need of monitoring, suggesting that perceptions of abundance are often clouded by socio-political motives rather than informed by biological and ecological factors. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
dc.language eng
dc.relation.isbasedon 10.1016/j.biocon.2007.03.001
dc.title Habitat selection by the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in disturbed environments: Implications for the conservation of a 'common' species
dc.type Journal Article
dc.description.version Published
dc.parent Biological Conservation
dc.journal.volume 3
dc.journal.volume 137
dc.journal.number 3 en_US
dc.publocation Oxford, UK en_US
dc.identifier.startpage 437 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 449 en_US
dc.cauo.name SCI.Environmental Sciences en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 0602 Ecology
dc.personcode 113573
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name Ecology en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition en_US
dc.custom en_US
dc.date.activity en_US
dc.location.activity en_US
dc.description.keywords Common species
dc.description.keywords Habitat suitability
dc.description.keywords Modelling
dc.description.keywords Road-kill
dc.description.keywords Spatial analysis
dc.description.keywords Vombatus ursinus
pubs.embargo.period Not known
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Science
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Strength - Environmental Science
utslib.copyright.status Closed Access
utslib.copyright.date 2015-04-15 12:17:09.805752+10
pubs.consider-herdc false
utslib.collection.history School of the Environment (ID: 344)
utslib.collection.history School of the Environment (ID: 344)
utslib.collection.history Closed (ID: 3)

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