Charuvi, A., Lees, D., Glover, HK., Rendall, AR., Dann, P. and Weston, MA.
For a given species, why does one bird fly when another doesn’t?
This process is often referred to as habituation – where some individuals become accustomed to repeated stimuli and therefore respond less. Habituation has been extensively discussed in relation to its importance in informing guidelines for mitigating the impacts of human disturbance on wildlife. However, most studies only consider behavioural responses of individuals, not the underlying physiological responses (Weston et al. 2012). Only a limited number of studies have considered the behavioural and physiological response of individuals to threatening stimuli. These studies are important as it may be that birds respond physiologically prior to showing any behavioural response, meaning our measures of the impact of negative stimuli (i.e. human usage of an ecosystem) may under-estimate true impacts. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether physiological costs were incurred prior to, or simultaneously with a behavioural response.
We investigated the spatial and temporal activity of long-nosed potoroos (Potorous tridactylus tridactylus) and feral cats (Felis catus) on French Island, Victoria. This population of potoroo’s has co-existed with cats since their introduction to the island, and we sought to understand the mechanisms by which this population was able to continue to persist.
Zonation is a dominant feature of coastal ecologies, yet comparatively few studies are available on zonation of ecological assemblages in coastal dunes. No study is available which examines zonation of small terrestrial mammals in dunes. We use a dataset of 10 years of mammal trapping near Cape Conran, eastern Victoria, Australia and show that small mammals were common in this dune system. The only introduced small mammal was detected in a narrow band above the beach/dune interface, while native small mammal assemblages dominated in the rest of the dune field. This clear zonation may result from habitat preference, competition, predation and species-specific predator risk tolerances, marine or beach subsidies or a combination of these influences.