Influence of landscape structure on invasive predators: feral cats and red foxes in the brigalow landscapes, Queensland, Australia

Graham, Cameron A., Maron, Martine and McAlpine, Clive A. (2012) Influence of landscape structure on invasive predators: feral cats and red foxes in the brigalow landscapes, Queensland, Australia. Wildlife Research, 39 8: 661-676. doi:10.1071/WR12008

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Author Graham, Cameron A.
Maron, Martine
McAlpine, Clive A.
Total Author Count Override 3
Title Influence of landscape structure on invasive predators: feral cats and red foxes in the brigalow landscapes, Queensland, Australia
Journal name Wildlife Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/WR12008
Volume 39
Issue 8
Start page 661
End page 676
Total pages 16
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context: Invasive mammalian predators are often associated with fragmented  landscapes, and can compound the impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on  native fauna. Knowledge of how invasive predators are influenced by different  landscape structures can assist in the mitigation of their impacts.

Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of landscape  structure and site-scale habitat attributes on the frequency of feral-cat and red-fox detections in fragmented agricultural landscapes.

Methods: Field surveys of the frequency of red-fox and feral-cat visitation at a site scale were stratified for six different habitat types in six study subregions. The habitat types were large remnant patch interior, large remnant patch edge, small remnant patch, roadside verge, regrowth patch and open agricultural land adjacent to a remnant patch. Sites were centred in a 1-km buffer area from which landscape composition and configuration were calculated. We applied a generalised linear model and an information-theoretic approach to determine the effect size and importance and rank of the explanatory variables on red-fox, feral-cat and pooled cat and fox detection rates.

Key results: The most important factors influencing detection rates had a positive effect and included: the dominance of cropping in the landscape (cat, fox, pooled cat and fox); and the density of vegetation at a site scale (fox, pooled cat and fox). The number of native habitat patches was also an important factor in the models of red foxes and pooled invasive predators.

Conclusion
: Spatially heterogeneous cropping landscapes incur higher rates of invasive-predator detections than do intact native-woodland and pasture landscapes at the 1-km scale. At a site scale, elevated invasive-predator detections occurred at sites with dense vegetation, characteristic of narrow woodland and the edges of large woodland patches.

Implications: The research findings highlight that vertebrate pest management needs to target highly fragmented agricultural landscapes that are more likely to have elevated levels of invasive-predator activity. Landscape restoration efforts need to consider the redesign of landscapes to make them less suitable for predators and more hospitable for native wildlife.
Keyword cropping
edge habitat
exotic predators
lateral vegetation cover
roads
spatial processes
New-South-Wales
Semiarid Woodland Environment
Vulpes-Vulpes
Felis-Catus
Home-Range
Habitat Selection
Agricultural Environments
Potential Impact
Forest Ecotones
Nest Predation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2013 Collection
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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