Using canopy bridges to link habitat for arboreal mammals: successful trials in the Wet Tropics of Queensland

Weston, Nigel, Goosem, Miriam, Marsh, Helene, Cohen, Martin, and Wilson, Robyn (2011) Using canopy bridges to link habitat for arboreal mammals: successful trials in the Wet Tropics of Queensland. Australian Mammalogy, 33 (1). pp. 93-105.

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Abstract

We investigated the use of inexpensive aerial bridges (rope canopy bridges) above roads and a highway by arboreal mammals in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia. Three rope bridge designs were trialed, including a single rope, ladder-like bridges and tunnel-shaped bridges. Nine mammal species were recorded using canopy bridges, including five species or subspecies endemic to the Wet Tropics and three species listed as rare under State nature conservation legislation. Most of these species suffer severely from either the fragmentation or mortality impacts caused by roads. Over 50 crossings above a 15-m-wide tourist road were observed on an elevated ladder-like bridge. Longer (~40 m) rope bridges were used on several occasions by four species. Our observations suggest that canopy bridges can assist rare arboreal mammals to cross roads in the Wet Tropics, thereby reducing both the risk of road-kill and the potential for subpopulation isolation. Further research is required to ascertain the level of benefit afforded by canopy bridges for arboreal mammal populations. It is likely that rope canopy bridges will have broad application for a range of arboreal mammal species.

Item ID: 16230
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: canopy gap, Hemibelideus lemuroides, linear barriers, World Heritage Area
ISSN: 1836-7402
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2011 07:06
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments @ 100%
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