Identifying multiscale habitat factors influencing koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) occurrence and management in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Januchowski, Stephanie R., McAlpine, Clive A., Callaghan, John G., Griffin, Carol B., Bowen, Michiala, Mitchell, Dave and Lunney, Daniel (2008) Identifying multiscale habitat factors influencing koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) occurrence and management in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Ecological Management and Restoration, 9 2: 134-142. doi:10.1111/j.1442-8903.2008.00405.x


Author Januchowski, Stephanie R.
McAlpine, Clive A.
Callaghan, John G.
Griffin, Carol B.
Bowen, Michiala
Mitchell, Dave
Lunney, Daniel
Title Identifying multiscale habitat factors influencing koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) occurrence and management in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Journal name Ecological Management and Restoration   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-7001
Publication date 2008-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2008.00405.x
Volume 9
Issue 2
Start page 134
End page 142
Total pages 9
Editor Tein McDonald
Place of publication Richmond, Vic., Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject C1
050104 Landscape Ecology
960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
0602 Ecology
060801 Animal Behaviour
060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
Formatted abstract
 Summary  Modelling for the conservation of koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations has primarily focused on natural habitat variables (e.g. tree species, soil types and soil moisture). Until recently, limited consideration has been given to modelling the effects of the landscape context (e.g. habitat area, habitat configuration and roads). Yet, the combined influence of natural habitats and anthropogenic impacts at multiple spatial scales are likely to be important determinants of where koala populations occur and remain viable in human-modified landscapes. The study tested the importance of multiscale habitat variables on koala occurrence in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. The models focused at three spatial scales: site (< 1 ha), patch (1–100 ha), and landscape (100–1000 s ha). Logistic regression and hierarchical partitioning analyses were used to rank alternative models and key explanatory variables.

The results showed that an increased likelihood of koala presence in fragmented landscapes in the urban–forest interface (as opposed to larger blocks of forest habitat) can best be explained by the positive effects of soil fertility and the presence of preferred koala tree species in these fragmented areas. If koalas are to be effectively conserved in Ballarat, it is critical to (i) protect remaining core areas of high-quality habitat, including regenerating areas; (ii) protect scattered habitat patches which provide connectivity; and (iii) develop and implement habitat restoration programmes to improve habitat connectivity and enhance opportunities for safe koala movement between habitat patches intersected by main roads.

Keyword habitat isolation
koalas
landscape composition
landscape configuration
roads
scale
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes Published Online: 14 Jul 2008

 
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Created: Fri, 10 Apr 2009, 00:56:44 EST by Helen Smith on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management