Arid recovery - a comparison of reptile and small mammal populations inside and outside a large rabbit, cat and fox-proof exclosure in arid south Australia

  • Published source details Moseby K.E., Hill B.M. & Read J.L. (2009) Arid recovery - a comparison of reptile and small mammal populations inside and outside a large rabbit, cat and fox-proof exclosure in arid south Australia. Austral Ecology, 34, 156-169


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove/control non-native mammals within a fenced area

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove/control non-native mammals within a fenced area

    A site comparison study in 1997–2005 in a dune and shrubland site in South Australia, Australia (Moseby et al. 2009) found that in a fenced area where invasive cats Felis catus, red foxes Vulpes vulpes and European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus were removed, native mammal species richness and abundance, and abundance of two out of four small mammal species, were greater than outside the fenced area. Two to six years after the removal of cats, foxes and rabbits began, native mammal species richness and overall abundance was higher inside than outside the fenced removal area (data presented on log scales). Also, more spinifex hopping mice Notomys alexis and Bolam’s mice Pseudomys bolami were caught in removal areas (spinifex: 13-51; Bolam’s: 5-38) than in non-removal areas (spinifex: 3-4; Bolam’s: 1-2). Numbers caught did not significantly differ in removal vs non-removal areas for fat-tailed dunnart Sminthopsis crassicaudata (0.3 vs 0.8) and stripe-faced dunnart Sminthopsis macroura (0.3-2.8 vs 1.1). Between 1997 and 2005, a 78-km2 exclosure was established in five stages, inside which rabbits, cats and foxes were removed from 1999. Locally extinct mammals were reintroduced into the first area (14-km2) in 1999-2001. Twelve locations inside the exclosure and 12 outside (60-7,000-km apart) were sampled over four nights annually, in 1998–2005, using a line of six pitfall traps and 15 Elliott live traps.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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