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Small mammals and habitat disturbance in open forest on coastal New South Wales. 1. Population parameters

Small mammals and habitat disturbance in open forest on coastal New South Wales. 1. Population parameters

Australian Wildlife Research 17(2): 195-206

ISSN/ISBN: 0310-7833

Removal and capture-mark-release trapping were carried out in mined and unmined open forest between 1972 and 1977 near Nelson Bay and Smiths Lake, New South Wales. Most commonly caught species were Pseudomys novaehollandiae, Antechinus stuartii and Mus musculus, with few captures of Rattus fuscipes, R. lutreolus, R. rattus, Isoodon macrourus and Petaurus breviceps. Abundance of Pseudomys novaehollandiae and A. stuartii was maximal in autumn and minimal in spring. Population increases were primarily the result of recruitment of first-year animals. A low-intensity autumn fire that burnt 66% of the study plot at Nelson Bay resulted in the loss of no nore than 13% of P. novaehollandiae and 26% of A. stuartii, but by 2 months postfire 26% of P. novaehollandiae and 52% of A. stuartii had disappeared from the grid. At 2 years postfire, P. novaehollandiae density had increased by 37% over the immediate prefire level, but A. stuartii had attained only 68% of the prefire density. Abundance of M. musculus was low until 1 year postfire. At 2 years, it was 32 times the prefire level. Sex ratios of the three major species were all not significantly different from 0.5. Female A. stuartii and male and female P. novaehollandiae lived up to 2 years of age.

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Accession: 021759562

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