Ecology and movement of urban koalas adjacent to linear infrastructure in coastal south-east Queensland

de Oliveira, S. M., Murray, P. J., de Villiers, D. L. and Baxter, G. S. (2014) Ecology and movement of urban koalas adjacent to linear infrastructure in coastal south-east Queensland. Australian Mammalogy, 36 1: 45-54. doi:10.1071/AM12046


Author de Oliveira, S. M.
Murray, P. J.
de Villiers, D. L.
Baxter, G. S.
Title Ecology and movement of urban koalas adjacent to linear infrastructure in coastal south-east Queensland
Journal name Australian Mammalogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0310-0049
1836-7402
Publication date 2014
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AM12046
Open Access Status
Volume 36
Issue 1
Start page 45
End page 54
Total pages 10
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In Redland City, koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are in rapid decline as they are exposed to anthropogenic threats such as habitat clearing, dog attacks, vehicle collisions and disease. This study investigated the influence of linear infrastructure on the movement and habitat use of urban koalas. Seven koalas were tracked for up to 28 weeks during the breeding season. Home ranges were calculated for 95% Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP95%) and 95% fixed Kernel Density (FK95%). Koalas responded to the landscape in different ways. Linear infrastructure did not restrict the movements of most koalas. Home ranges varied from 1.1 to 31.5ha MCP95% and from 5 to 55ha for FK95%. Koalas mainly used Eucalyptus tereticornis throughout the study site. A variety of non-regionally endemic and regionally endemic trees in urban and remnant vegetation areas were used, suggesting that all trees are potentially koala habitat. At the completion of the study, four koalas remained alive, two were killed by trains and one died from a dog attack. Despite the small sample size and short duration, our results suggest that koalas are able to navigate linear infrastructure; however, the high rates of mortality associated with these movements puts the long-term viability of urban koala populations in doubt.
Keyword Dog attack
Home range
Movement
Rail line
Tree use
Urban koalas
Vehicle collision.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 8 November 2013.

 
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