Australia’s species extinction crisis in numbers: 2019

Davies H. F., Mccarthy M. A., Firth R. S. C. et al. (2018) Declining populations in one of the last refuges for threatened mammal species in northern Australia. Austral Ecol. 43, 602-612.

Aim: 
To assess changes in mammal assemblages on Melville Island, including mammal species with major declines across mainland northern Australia.
Type of Study: 
Natural experiment
Key Results: 
Overall, trap-success was 62% lower in 2015, than in 2000-2002. Trap success in 2015 decreased for northern brown bandicoots (90%), brush-tailed rabbit-rats (64%), and black-footed tree-rats (63%), compared to 2000-2002. Site-level species richness reduced by 36% and the proportion of sites where no native mammals were trapped doubled from 13% to 26%, from 2000-2002 to 2015. Shrub density was a significant predictor of site-occupancy by the black-footed tree-rat and the brush-tailed rabbit-rat. Feral cat detection was only a significant predictor for brush-tailed rabbit rats. Fire was not a significant predictor for any of the detected native mammal species.
Reviewer: 
Mitchell Cowan
Full Reference: 
Davies H. F., Mccarthy M. A., Firth R. S. C. et al. (2018) Declining populations in one of the last refuges for threatened mammal species in northern Australia. Austral Ecol. 43, 602-612.