My perentie and her mate were featured on the cover of the newest issue of the Australian Journal of Zoology. You can check out all the great wildlife papers in the issue here, including our article which discusses the need for assessments of animal behaviour in studies of restoration success and tracks a perentie through a mine site.
Check out my recent article “I walked 1,200km in the outback to track huge lizards. Here’s why” published in The Conversation today.
Check out the great article in the Dispatches of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment “Meat‐eating lizards survive desert by eating crickets” featuring our research here!
Animals are often overlooked in assessments of mine site restoration success, or when considered, primarily assessed in terms of their presence or absence from restored landscapes. Understanding how animals behaviorally respond to habitat change and restoration is key to facilitating their conservation in the face of ever increasing rates of habitat destruction. We present a case study assessing the movements of a young-adult perentie (Varanus giganteus) through restored and reference vegetation on a mine site in the Mid West of Western Australia. We demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel method of home range construction (The Time Local Convex Hull method, or T-LoCoH) in analysing selective habitat use and behaviour of animals in their environment.
You can find the publication here:
In assessments of mine site restoration success, animals are often overlooked and assumed to return following the return of vegetation. This is commonly known as the Field of Dreams hypothesis, as in practice, recovering biodiversity to a level representative of the pre-disturbance system can be a very challenging task. Among existing studies, there is a focus towards assessing species diversity or abundance in restored habitats; however, this may be limited in its ability to show whether restoration is supporting animal populations long term, or if these areas are only in opportunistic use.
So, how can we assess behaviour of animals in restored mine sites, and how can this be used to help understand the longer term success of restoration efforts? I recently presented on my research at the 2019 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Cape Town, South Africa. You can view the talk here:
We recently published an article on the diet of three sympatric Western Australian species of Varanus (V. gouldii, V. tristis, V. panoptes) occurring in the arid Mid West region. If you’re interested, you can find the article in the Journal of Zoology here
Restoration goals: Why are fauna still overlooked in the process of recovering functioning ecosystems and what can be done about it?
S. L. Cross, P. W. Bateman, and A. T. Cross
Animals are often overlooked in assessments of restoration success and assumed to return following the return of vegetation. However, in practice, recovering diverse and representative fauna communities can be exceptionally difficult, not only to achieve, but to monitor. In our new publication, we argue that fauna must be considered to a greater extent in assessments of restoration success, and management policies. You can read the full paper, published in the journal Ecological Management and Restoration, here.
Head to page 58 to see our research featured in the Australian Research Council’s 2018/19 Annual Report.
Very excited to find my first thorny devil (Moloch horridus)- these little dragons are incredible, they are they covered in spikes and exceptionally good at camouflaging into the bush, and also have a “false head” on their neck, which when they dip their head helps to hide their real head from predators! They also use capillary action to transport water to their mouths from their skin! How amazing are these guys! Found near Natures Window in Kalbarri, Mid West Western Australia.
Click to see more images –>Continue reading “Australia’s coolest lizard species”
Head to page 38/39 to see our research featured in the Australian Research Council’s 2019 ‘Making a Difference‘ publication