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The short-term effects of a routine poisoning campaign on the movements and detectability of a social top-predator

Allen, Benjamin L and Engeman, Richard M and Leung, Luke K–P (2014) The short-term effects of a routine poisoning campaign on the movements and detectability of a social top-predator. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21 (3). pp. 2178-2190. ISSN 0944-1344

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-2118-7

Abstract

Top-predators can be important components of resilient ecosystems, but they are still controlled in many places to mitigate a variety of economic, environmental and/or social impacts. Lethal control is often achieved through the broad-scale application of poisoned baits. Understanding the direct and indirect effects of such lethal control on subsequent movements and behaviour of survivors is an important pre-requisite for interpreting the efficacy and ecological outcomes of top-predator control. In this study, we use GPS tracking collars to investigate the fine-scale and short-term movements of dingoes (Canis lupus dingo and other wild dogs) in response to a routine poison-baiting program as an example of how a common, social top-predator can respond (behaviourally) to moderate levels of population reduction. We found no consistent control-induced differences in home range size or location, daily distance travelled, speed of travel, temporal activity patterns or road/trail usage for the seven surviving dingoes we monitored immediately before and after a typical lethal control event. These data suggest that the spatial behaviour of surviving dingoes was not altered in ways likely to affect their detectability, and if control-induced changes in dingoes' ecological function did occur, these may not be related to altered spatial behaviour or movement patterns.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:Environ Sci Pollut Res
Keywords:Behaviourally mediated trophic cascade Canis lupus dingo Detection probability Mesopredator release Passive tracking index Poison baiting Relative abundance indices Sodium fluoroacetate or 1080
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 05:04
Last Modified:23 Jun 2014 05:04

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