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Use of anthropogenic linear features by two medium-size carnivores in reserved and agricultural landscapes


Andersen, GE and Johnson, CN and Barmuta, LA and Jones, ME, Use of anthropogenic linear features by two medium-size carnivores in reserved and agricultural landscapes, Scientific Reports, 7, (1) Article 11624. ISSN 2045-2322 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11454-z


Many carnivores are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. These changes create linear features and habitat edges that can facilitate foraging and/or travel. To understand the signifcance of anthropogenic linear features in the ecology of carnivores, fne-scaled studies are needed. We studied two medium-sized carnivores: the endangered Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) and the near threatened spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), in a mixed landscape of conservation and agricultural land. Using GPS tracking, we investigated their use of intact habitat versus linear features such as roads, fences and the pasture/cover interface. Both species showed a positive selection for anthropogenic linear features, using the pasture/cover interface for foraging and roads for movement and foraging. Devils travelled along fence lines, while quolls showed little preference for them. Otherwise, both species foraged in forest and travelled through pasture. While devils and quolls can utilise anthropogenic linear features, we suggest that their continued survival in these habitats may depend on the intensity of other threats, e.g. persecution, and providing that sufcient intact habitat remains to sustain their ecological needs. We suggest that the management of both species and probably many other species of carnivores should focus on controlling mortality factors associated with human use of landscapes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:habitat fragmentation, behavioural ecology, carnivores
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Andersen, GE (Dr Georgina Andersen)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
UTAS Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
UTAS Author:Jones, ME (Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:122149
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP110103069)
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2017-11-02
Last Modified:2018-05-09
Downloads:141 View Download Statistics

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