Please come along to Amy's and Saumya's PhD confirmation seminars to hear about their plans to better understand how landscape structure, fire and resource availability influence ground-dwelling mammal population persistence.
Join person or via Zoom.
Where: Small Lecture Theatre, Room 123, Uni Building, Creswick
When: 10.30-11.30 am, Friday 10 May
Both their projects involve measurement of vegetation structure in the beautiful heathy woodland of western Victoria and eastern South Australia. If you'd like to volunteer to help with data collection between July and October, please get in touch!
A multi-faceted team of reptile, mammal and bat-trappers recently headed out west for a week of fieldwork highs, disappointments and everything in between.
In terms of animal numbers, Taylor and Holly's sites were most bountiful, with 35 reptiles falling into pitfall or funnel traps. Microbats appeared in Amanda's harp traps in dribs and drabs until she hit a bumper night of 19 animals, resulting in 25 for the week. A very promising start to the season although microbat ID makes peering at skink scales seem terribly straight forward.
One thousand two hundred and fifty Elliott-trap nights yielded one very special Yellow-footed Antechinus plus two mildly confused Shinglebacks. We are hopeful that Amy, Rachel, Saumya and Julian's mammoth efforts will be rewarded soon, and that the low trap success reflects the time of year. Kelvin experienced similarly low animal numbers this time last year, and Rachel had heath mice coming out of her ears during her pilot study in March.
We're currently seeking volunteers for our programme of almost back-to-back trapping over the next few months. Food, basic accommodation, and transport from Ballarat or Creswick are provided. Please let us know if you're interested, and keep an eye on the facebook page for details of specific trips.
Fire & Fragmentation Project Information Day
Casterton Town Hall, 67 Henty Street
Our Information Day will be an opportunity to:
Find a provisional program below, and please RSVP by Monday 30 July.
We look forward to seeing you!
(The fieldwork front)
A team of reptile trappers and vegetation measurers has made Casterton its second home over the past couple of months.
This work forms part of Annalie and Sarah's PhD projects, and Kelvin's Masters project. Their missions are fairly ambitious and they've been assisted by Zahlia, Holly, Julian and Matt, as well as a crew of fantastic volunteers.
Please enjoy a selection of their favourite photos, and don't hesitate to get in touch via facebook if you're interested in helping.
Having carefully balanced the evidence, we conclude that the honeymoon period lives on.
Last week the Fire & Fragmentation Project team ventured out to the heathy woodland between Dartmoor and Edenhope to set up their second round of camera traps. This work is part of Zahlia and Lauren's studies into the effects of fire and fragmentation on mammals. They are currently going through the photos from their first round of camera trapping, and will compile their favourites soon. Please stay tuned.
Thanks to Sarah, Lauren and Zahlia for providing all the evidence.
Our ARC Linkage project officially begins in 2017, and Holly, Julian, Matt and Alan took a road trip this week to scope out the study area. The ultimate aim of the project is to conserve biodiversity in fire-prone fragmented landscapes by addressing two key knowledge gaps: the combined effects of fire and fragmentation on animal movement, and the implications of current and future fire regimes for animal populations.
We'll be embarking on an busy field program from mid February to May and are seeking volunteers to join week-long trips involving:
Fire Ecology and Biodiversity at UniMelb
Bushfire Behaviour and Management at UniMelb
Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group at UniMelb
Integrated Forest Ecosystem Research at UniMelb