An adaptive management case study for managing macropods on Maria Island National Park, Tasmania, Australia: Adding devils to the detail
Ingram, J, An adaptive management case study for managing macropods on Maria Island National Park, Tasmania, Australia: Adding devils to the detail, Pacific Conservation Biology, 24, (2) pp. 108-121. ISSN 1038-2097 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Adaptive management is driven by structured decision making and evidence from monitoring in a 'learning' framework that guides management actions. In a conservation context, this iterative approach includes evaluation of the impacts on natural processes. On Maria Island National Park, Tasmania, Australia, introduced Forester kangaroo, Bennetts wallaby and Tasmanian pademelon have been intensively managed by an annual cull since 1994. Management actions were triggered by high parasite loads, intense grazing pressure and high juvenile mortality during drought periods. Criticism of the annual cull from animal welfare groups initiated the development of an adaptive management approach for decision making that replaces the historic 'trial and error' process. Following a comprehensive review of the existing macropod management program in 2011, an integrated monitoring strategy was established to provide evidence for informed decision making. Assessments of animal health and estimates of population trends are the key indicators for management actions to occur. Maintaining viable macropod populations and protecting natural values form the basis of management objectives. Management actions in each year, for each species, represent 'treatments' as spatial replication is not possible at such a small scale. An adaptive management approach for macropod management on Maria Island has resulted in only one species being culled in 2014 and 2015 for the first time in almost 20 years. However the recent introduction of a major predator, the Tasmanian devil, has increased uncertainty for long-term macropod management on Maria Island with no cull occurring in 2016 and 2017.
common wombat, Devil Facial Tumour Disease, rainfall, rate of increase, wildlife, adaptive approach to wildlife management