Introduced mammals in Australian rangelands: Future threats and the role of monitoring programmes in management strategies

Authors

  • G. P. EDWARDS,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, PO Box 2130, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0871, Australia (Email: glen.edwards@nt.gov.au), 2The Ecology Centre, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Queensland and 3CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • 1 A. R. POPLE,

    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, PO Box 2130, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0871, Australia (Email: glen.edwards@nt.gov.au), 2The Ecology Centre, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Queensland and 3CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • 2 K. SAALFELD,

    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, PO Box 2130, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0871, Australia (Email: glen.edwards@nt.gov.au), 2The Ecology Centre, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Queensland and 3CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • and 1 P. CALEY 3

    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, PO Box 2130, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0871, Australia (Email: glen.edwards@nt.gov.au), 2The Ecology Centre, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Queensland and 3CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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*Corresponding author.

Abstract

Abstract  In the present paper, we have provided an initial assessment of the current and future threats to biodiversity posed by introduced mammals (predators and herbivores) inhabiting the Australian rangelands, exploring trends in populations and options for management. Notably, rabbits have declined in recent years in the wake of rabbit haemorrhagic disease, populations of feral camels have increased dramatically and foxes appear to have moved northwards, thereby threatening native fauna within an expanded range. Following on, we developed a framework for monitoring the impacts of introduced mammals in the Australian rangelands. In doing so, we considered the key issues that needed to be considered in designing a monitoring programme for this purpose and critically evaluated the role of monitoring in pest animal management. Finally we have provided a brief inventory of current best-practice methods of estimating the abundance of introduced mammal populations in the Australian rangelands with some comments on new approaches and their potential applications.

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