Study

Factors affecting the use of fauna underpasses by bandicoots and bobtail lizards

  • Published source details Chambers B. & Bencini R. (2015) Factors affecting the use of fauna underpasses by bandicoots and bobtail lizards. Animal Conservation, 18, 424-432.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barriers and crossing structures along roads/railways

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install barriers and crossing structures along roads/railways

    A replicated study in 2012–2013 in southern metropolitan Perth, Western Australia, Australia (Chambers & Bencini 2015) found that western bobtail lizards Tiliqua rugosa used underpasses of all sizes and shapes under fenced roads, and five other reptile species were observed using underpasses. Bobtail lizards used all 10 underpasses with 3–148 total crossings/underpass made by 1–8 individual lizards/underpass. Bobtail lizard use of underpasses was not related to length (23–88 m), cross-sectional area (0.3–1.4 m2), presence of logs or sticks, surrounding vegetation cover (0–50%), presence of predators, or time since construction of the underpass (2–19 years). Other reptile species seen using the underpasses included Gould’s sand monitor Vaanus gouldii, western bluetongue Tiliqua occipitalis, southern heath monitor Varanus rosenbergi, black-headed monitor Varanus tristis and dugite Pseudonaja affinis. Road crossings were monitored through 10 underpasses (round: 0.6–0.9 m diameter or square culverts: 0.6–1.2 m wide, 0.5–1.2 m high) from May 2012 to May 2013. All roads were fenced (600–1,800 mm high, buried 300 mm deep). Bobtail lizards were trapped and individually marked using PIT tags in the vicinity of each underpass for four consecutive nights. Underpasses were equipped with PIT tag reader antennas and infrared motion-sensor cameras installed to record animals on either side of the culvert.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

    A study in 2012–2013 in six urban sites in Western Australia, Australia (Chambers & Bencini 2015) found that underpasses, separated from roads by fencing, were used by mammals to cross the road. Southern brown bandicoots Isoodon obesulus fusciventer crossed 540 times, western grey kangaroos Macropus fuliginosus crossed 186 times and brushtail possums Trichosurus vulpecula crossed twice. Underpasses were also used by several invasive mammal species. Road crossings were monitored through 10 underpasses from May 2012 to May 2013, using camera traps. Underpasses were round (0.6–0.9 m diameter) or square culverts (0.6–1.2 m wide, 0.5–1.2 m high). They were 23–88 m long and separated from roads by 0.6–1.8-m-high fences. The time since construction ranged from two to 19 years.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha )

Output references
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