SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Summary  Travelling stock reserves have well recognised and important commercial, cultural and other values in the pastoral and agricultural regions of Australia, but their conservation values remain poorly known. In general, many areas of woodlands within travelling stock reserves have not been subjected to the same high levels of degradation pressure as similar temperate woodlands on private land. In this study, we compared several measures of vertebrate biota in 217 permanent field sites located in travelling stock reserves and woodland remnants located almost exclusively on private land in the Murray Riverina and South West Slopes bioregions in southern New South Wales. We found that in comparison with temperate woodland remnants on private land, temperate woodland in travelling stock reserves tended to support more species of birds, more species of declining birds, and a greater abundance of arboreal marsupials. Temperate woodland in travelling stock reserves was more likely to be occupied by particular individual species of birds of conservation concern. However, such tenure differences were not consistent between bioregions. For example, the Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) and the Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii ) were significantly more likely to occupy temperate woodland in travelling stock reserves than temperate woodland on private land in the Murray Riverina but such effects were not apparent in the South West Slopes. Similarly, while the Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis) was significantly more likely to occupy temperate woodland in travelling stock reserve sites in the South West Slopes, we found the opposite effect in Murray Riverina. We demonstrated that travelling stock reserves have important conservation values for some taxa and individual species. Because of the paucity of large ecological reserves in the Murray Riverina and South West Slopes bioregions, temperate woodlands located in travelling stock reserves should be considered as an important resource that contributes to a portfolio of vegetation assets in formerly woodland-dominated, but now extensively cleared, agricultural landscapes.