Couper, P., & Hoskin, C. (2008) Litho-refugia: the importance of rock landscapes for the long-term persistence of Australian rainforest fauna. Australian Zoologist, 34(4), 554-560.
To outline examples of rainforest fauna that exemplify the importance of rock landscapes in the persistence of rainforest lineages.
The stability of rock habitats means that they have acted as refugia for the persistence of rainforest lineages that may otherwise have disappeared from regions due to rainforest contraction resulting from climatic change. Rock habitats have therefore played an important role in maintaining the diversity of Australia’s rainforest fauna.
Fitzsimons, J. A., & Michael, D. R. (2017) Rocky outcrops: a hard road in the conservation of critical habitats. Biological conservation, 211, 36-44.
A review of the literature on the ecological, cultural and economic values of rocky outcrops, threatening processes and conservation solutions.
Rocky outcrops are examples of small natural features with an ecological role extending beyond their area. They provide long-lasting landscape features with stable micro-climates and ecological refuges. Rocky outcrops provide habitat for a range of endemic, range-restricted and specialised plants and animals.
McDougall, A., Milner, R. N., Driscoll, D. A., & Smith, A. L. (2016) Restoration rocks: integrating abiotic and biotic habitat restoration to conserve threatened species and reduce fire fuel load. Biodiversity and Conservation, 25(8), 1529-1542.
To examine the influence of rock habitat and native grass restoration and management scenarios (fire and herbicide application) on the use of the threatened Pink-tailed Worm Lizard (Aprasia parapulchella).
Rock restoration combined with herbicide application reduced fire fuel load, increased ant occurrence (the primary prey of A. parapulchella) and increased the growth and survival of native grasses. Threatened lizards colonised the restored habitat within a year of treatment.
Michael, D. & Lindenmayer, D. (2018) Rocky Outcrops in Australia: Ecology, Conservation and Management. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
To increase awareness of the biological, cultural and social values of rocky outcrops, the flora and fauna that depend on these systems and to provide management recommendations to improve their conservation values.
Rocky outcrops in Australia have a diverse range of ecological, cultural and social values. Many outcrops in commodity production landscapes are highly degraded and require urgent management.
Michael, D. R., Cunningham, R. B., & Lindenmayer, D. B. (2008) A forgotten habitat? Granite inselbergs conserve reptile diversity in fragmented agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45(6), 1742-1752.
To examine the relationships of reptile diversity, rocky outcrop patch size and habitat condition.
Small insular rock outcrops in agricultural landscapes are important for supporting farm reptile communities and specialised rock-dwelling lizards. Large, structurally complex outcrop in variegated landscapes support highest levels of reptile diversity.
Michael, D. R., Lindenmayer, D. B., & Cunningham, R. B. (2010) Managing rock outcrops to improve biodiversity conservation in Australian agricultural landscapes. Ecological Management & Restoration, 11(1), 43-50.
A review of the literature on granite outcrops in agricultural landscapes.
Rocky outcrops are prominent in agricultural landscapes. Reptiles are a major component of these habitats and many species are restricted to, and more abundant on, rocky outcrops. Rock outcrops provide reptiles with resources that are limited in the surrounding landscape (e.g. micro-gradients in climatic conditions, basking and retreat-sites). Significant knowledge gaps exist on the conservation values of small, rocky outcrops.
Pike, D. A., Croak, B. M., Webb, J. K., & Shine, R. (2010) Subtle–but easily reversible–anthropogenic disturbance seriously degrades habitat quality for rock‐dwelling reptiles. Animal Conservation, 13(4), 411-418.
To investigated the effects of human-induced rock disturbance on saxicolous reptiles.
Crevices beneath displaced rocks were larger and cooler than those beneath repositioned rocks. Repositioning of rocks enhanced usage by reptiles. Both crevice size and temperature influence reptile retreat-site selection. Minor displacement of overlying rocks reduces habitat quality by modifying critical crevice attributes.
Shine, R., Webb, J. K., Fitzgerald, M., & Sumner, J. (1998) The impact of bush-rock removal on an endangered snake species, Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Serpentes: Elapidae). Wildlife Research, 25(3), 285-295.
To examine the impact of rock removal on an endangered snake species (Hoplocephalus bungaroides).
Snakes and the geckos prefer rocks lying on other rocks, rather than on soil, and select rocks of particular sizes. Rocks removed by bush-rock collectors overlap considerably in size (diameter and thickness) and position (rock on rock) with those used by broad-headed snakes and velvet geckos. Rock numbers were substantially reduced by anthropogenic disturbance. Bush-rock removal has contributed to the endangerment of a threatened snake.
Wong, D. T. (2013). Environmental factors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella) in the Australian Capital Territory (Doctoral dissertation, University of Canberra).
To investigate the factors driving theoccurrence and abundance of the threatened Pink-tailed Worm Lizard (Aprasia parapulchella) in the ACT at regional and patch scales.
Loss and degradation of the ground layer habitat of Aprasia parapulchella, as a result of agricultural modification, has historically been the major driver of decline of the species across its range.