Gap-crossing in fragmented habitats by mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis). Do they cross roads and powerline corridors?

Asari, Yumiko, Johnson, Christopher N., Parsons, Mark, and Larson, Johan (2010) Gap-crossing in fragmented habitats by mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis). Do they cross roads and powerline corridors? Australian Mammalogy, 32 (1). pp. 10-15.

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Abstract

The mahogany glider (Petaurus gracilis) is one of the most threatened arboreal mammals in Australia. Although its habitat is affected by fragmentation, gap-crossing behaviour of the species has not been studied. A radio-tracking survey was undertaken on six individuals (three males, three females) in a woodland patch bisected by a 35.8-m-wide highway and a 31.5-m-wide powerline corridor, in north-east Queensland. The mean home ranges of males were 20.1 ± 3.3 ha, 21.3 ± 7.9 ha and 20.9 ± 8.2 ha, as measured by the Minimum Convex Polygon, Kernel and Harmonic Mean methods respectively. The mean home ranges of females were 8.9 ± 0.5 ha, 9.0 ± 4.2 ha and 8.8 ± 2.3 ha, as measured by the Minimum Convex Polygon, Kernel and Harmonic Mean methods respectively. Two males and one female were observed crossing linear gaps. However, there was less crossing than expected, and females were less likely to cross than males. One male used a narrow strip of woodland at the opposite side of the highway as supplemental habitat for foraging. This individual also used scattered trees in a grassland matrix for foraging or denning. Another male used a wooden power pole as a launching site to cross the highway. This study emphasises the importance of protecting large trees along linear barriers in open habitat, and suggests that gliding poles may be used to facilitate gap-crossing by mahogany gliders.

Item ID: 15048
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
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ISSN: 1836-7402
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2010 05:25
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Scopus Scopus 8
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