An Example of Freshwater Turtle Habitat Destruction by Foraging Feral Pigs in Tropical North-Eastern Australia

Doupè, Robert G., Schaffer, Jason, and Knott, Matthew J. (2008) An Example of Freshwater Turtle Habitat Destruction by Foraging Feral Pigs in Tropical North-Eastern Australia. Report. Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

[Extract] Foraging by feral pigs can strongly affect vegetation assemblages and so too wider ecological processes, although how this impacts upon freshwater ecosystems and their inhabitants have seldom been studied. Between May and October 2008, we assessed the ecological effects of pig foraging activities in a pair of fenced and unfenced ephemeral floodplain lagoons at Lakefield National Park on Cape York Peninsula, and from July we estimated the comparative effect of pig disturbance on the resident freshwater turtle fauna in each lagoon. Foraging by feral pigs caused major changes to aquatic macrophyte communities and as a consequence, to the proportional amounts of open water and bare ground. The destruction of macrophyte communities and upheaved wetland sediments significantly affected wetland light penetration and water clarity, and caused prolonged anoxia and pH imbalances in the unfenced treatment. The combined effects of vegetation destruction and the subsequent excretion of pig wastes caused high levels of nutrient enrichment in the unfenced lagoon.

Item ID: 28042
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: freshwater turtles, feral pig impacts, habitat protection, invasive species
Additional Information:

ACTFR Report No. 08/21

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Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2013 05:26
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960406 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
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