Seminar: Marsupial decline following fox control. What an Reindeer tell us
8th September 2017
Speaker: Dr Nick Dexter
Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 6, Level C, Room 12, University of Canberra
Fox control programs have resulted in the recovery many Australian mammal species threatened with extinction. However, these increases have often been followed by crashes in abundance. Reasons suggested for these crashes include; meso-predator release and disease. Using simple population models and evidence from eruptive ungulate populations we suggest that these crashes are to be expected and are due to the increasing population overshooting carrying capacity. We also predict that the timing of the decline will be dependent on the species intrinsic rate of increase with species with higher rates of increase crashing sooner than species with lower rates of increase. We find this prediction confirmed suggesting that the distressing marsupial declines after initial success are inevitable and should be planned for.
Nick is a University of Canberra graduate with a Master of Applied Science on magpie geese in the Northern territory. He earned a PhD on feral pig behaviour and worked on a range of other issues including surveying blue-fin tuna, involving Aboriginal communities in feral animal management, and feral animal management in the Galapagos Islands. Nick has a long-term interest in the conservation of Australia’s terrestrial mammals since seeing the warrens of extinct burrowing bettongs on a UC field trip to Kinchega National Park. For the last 14 years Nick has been able to work on this passion as the Natural Resource Manager at Booderee National Park, where he oversees the translocation of long-nosed potoroos, southern brown bandicoots and eastern quolls to the Park.