Study

Enhancing fauna habitat in grazed native grasslands and woodlands: use of artificially placed log refuges by fauna

  • Published source details Michael D.R., Lunt I.D. & Robinson W.A. (2004) Enhancing fauna habitat in grazed native grasslands and woodlands: use of artificially placed log refuges by fauna. Wildlife Research, 31, 65-71.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial refuges/breeding sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Provide artificial refuges/breeding sites

    A study in 2000–2001 in a grassland and woodland reserve in Victoria, Australia (Michael et al. 2004) found that artificial log refuges were used by fat-tailed dunnarts Sminthopsis crassicaudata. Fat-tailed dunnarts were found beneath both recently placed (20 of 408 refuges) and old refuges (9 of 271 refuges) in grassland. However, introduced house mice Mus musculus were more often found beneath recently placed (10 of 408 refuges) than old refuges (1 of 271 refuges) in grassland. Fat-tailed dunnarts preferred Eucalyptus (34 of 447 refuges) to cypress-pine (9 of 684 refuges) posts, and preferred wider, more decayed posts with more holes (see paper for details). In May 2000, between 12 and 20 old white cypress-pine Callitris glaucophylla and Eucalyptus Eucalyptus sp. fence posts were placed in each of 91 quadrats (total 1,131 new refuges) throughout a 3,780-ha national park in grassland and woodland. Mammals were surveyed monthly, beneath both new refuges and beneath 271 old fence posts which had lain in the same grassland sites for more than 15 years. Surveys were conducted from June 2000 to January 2001 and between 08:00 h and 20:00 h.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

  2. Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2000–2001 in a site of grassland with wooded patches in Victoria, Australia (Michael et al. 2004) found that more reptiles tended to use old log refuges compared with new log refuges. Three species were found more commonly under old logs compared to new logs (tessellated gecko Diplodactylus tessellatus: 6 individuals in old logs vs 2 in new logs, Boulenger’s skink Morethia boulengeri: 12 vs 6; curl snake Suta suta: 38 vs 7). Three species were found in similar numbers under old and new logs (striped legless lizard Delma impar: 1 in old logs vs 2 in new; olive legless lizard Delma inornate: 6 vs 9; Grey’s skink Menetia greyii: 23 vs 9) and two species were found under only one log type (bearded dragon Pogona barbata: 1 under new log; eastern brown snake Pseudonaja textilis: 2 under old log). An area of 3,780 ha was marked into 91 quadrats and in May 2000, and 12–20 logs (old fence posts) were placed in every quadrat (total of 1,131 log refuges). An additional 271 fallen fence posts that had lain in situ for 15 years were also monitored. Monthly surveys took place between June 2000 and January 2001.

    (Summarised by: Guy Rotem)

Output references
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