Assessing restoration success using reptiles and small mammals

Project Description

Evaluate the quality and success of past restoration efforts by measuring their value to reptiles and small mammals.

Activities:

The first year of trapping has recently been completed, using pitfall traps and funnel trapping. A large number of landholders were consulted to secure a suitable mixture of revegetation sites to use in the surveys, from this large area a few sites were selected in close proximity to each other, 8 sites were set up which consisted of 2 controls of natural saline vegetation bordering salt lakes, 2 sites in saltbush revegetation, 2 sites in a mixed biodiverse planting and 2 sites in brushwood revegetation planting, all bordering on saline lands.

Yarra Yarra Catchment Management Group and Edith Cowan University put out  call for volunteers, this resulted in 11 volunteers over the 2 week period, the first few days was consistent with setting up the pitfall traps and then the monitoring followed. The sites were challenging and took a little more time than expected to set up.

  • Fauna identification/handling workshop
  • Community information and Q&A session on successful revegetation methods
  • Habitat and fauna signage to be created and housed in the NACC biodiversity/sustainable agriculture trailer.

Recommend which revegetation strategies are best for these target animal groups and thus increase the efficacy and focus the delivery of future revegetation on the most suitable strategies.

Outcomes:

Although the data has not been analysed as yet, 140 animals were captured and identified and released. 80 of these were native animals and the remainder were mice. The highlight was the capture of the threatened Gidgee skink Egernia stokesii badia in one of the control sites and also the capture of 2 species of dunnart. It is clear from this initial survey that the lack of groundcover in these revegetated sites has a large effect on trapped species, with generally a low capture rate compared to other studies, and a very high number of introduced house mice. More details will be available at the end of the project.

Project Details

  • OrganisationYarra Yarra Catchment Management Group
  • Year2017
  • Funding$39,500