New paper: ‘A physiological cost to behavioural tolerance’

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

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Image credit: Michael Weston

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.

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New paper: ‘Living with the enemy: a threatened prey species coexisting with feral cats on a fox-free island’

Miritis, V., Rendall, AR.,Doherty, TS., Coetsee, AL., Ritchie, EG.

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.

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Continue reading “New paper: ‘Living with the enemy: a threatened prey species coexisting with feral cats on a fox-free island’”

New paper: ‘Comparison of the modified agglutination test and real-time PCR for detection of Toxoplasma gondii exposure in feral cats from Phillip Island, Australia, and risk factors associated with infection’

Adriaanse, K., Firestone, SM., Lynch, M., Rendall, AR., Sutherland, DR., Hufschmid, J., Traub, R.

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Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is considered a disease risk for many native Australian species. Feral cats are the key definitive host of T. gondii in Australia and therefore, investigating the epidemiology of T. gondii in cat populations is essential to understanding the risk posed to wildlife. Continue reading “New paper: ‘Comparison of the modified agglutination test and real-time PCR for detection of Toxoplasma gondii exposure in feral cats from Phillip Island, Australia, and risk factors associated with infection’”

New paper: Zonation of a small mammal community within coastal dunes

Rendall, AR., Cooke, R., White, JG., Weston, MA. 

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.