Interpreting patterns of population change in koalas from long-term datasets in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of New South Wales

Lunney, Daniel, Predavec, Martin, Miller,Indrie, Shannon, Ian, Fisher, Mark, Moon, Chris, Matthews, Alison, Turbill, John and Rhodes, Jonathan R. (2016) Interpreting patterns of population change in koalas from long-term datasets in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy, 38 1: 29-43. doi:10.1071/AM15019


Author Lunney, Daniel
Predavec, Martin
Miller,Indrie
Shannon, Ian
Fisher, Mark
Moon, Chris
Matthews, Alison
Turbill, John
Rhodes, Jonathan R.
Title Interpreting patterns of population change in koalas from long-term datasets in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of New South Wales
Journal name Australian Mammalogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1836-7402
0310-0049
Publication date 2016-02
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AM15019
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 38
Issue 1
Start page 29
End page 43
Total pages 15
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract We examined a long-term, repeat dataset for the koala population within Coffs Harbour Local Government Area. Analyses of these data have led to the conclusion that, following a perceived population decline in the 1980s, the koala population of Coffs Harbour has endured between 1990 and 2011 and showed no evidence of a precipitous decline during this period. Rather, the population change is best characterised as stable to slowly declining. This conclusion appears to contradict a common view of recent koala population declines on the north coast of New South Wales. There are four possible explanations for the population’s apparent stability: that conservation efforts and planning regulations have been effective; that surviving adults are persisting in existing home ranges in remnant habitat; that the broader Coffs Harbour population is operating as a ‘source and sink’ metapopulation; and/or that the standard survey methods employed are not sufficiently sensitive to detect small population changes. These findings do not mean there is no need for future conservation efforts aimed at koalas in Coffs Harbour; however, such efforts will need to better understand and account for a koala population that can be considered to be stable to slowly declining.
Keyword Citizen science
Conservation
Environmental planning
Long-term monitoring
Phascolarctos cinereus
Threatened species
Urban wildlife
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 23 October 2015

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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