Doctor of Philosophy
School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences
Arboreal mammals are some of the most sensitive to the impacts of habitat fragmentation. Such species are either reliant on continuous forest cover or canopy connectivity to facilitate movement, especially if they are obligate arboreal species. Habitat loss from agricultural expansion and urban development, threatens the ability of arboreal mammals to disperse to enable landscape scale gene flow. Over long-time periods this can lead to a reduction in effective population size, genetic viability, and ultimately the ability to persist in the face of continuing threats.
Creating wildlife corridors is one landscape conservation initiative that can aid in mitigating threats. This can be achieved through the identification of pathways of existing habitat, calculated through spatial models, and coupled with the evaluation of corridor functionality. Ideally, such corridors should benefit multiple species compared to focusing on one focal species, to achieve greater biodiversity conservation outcomes. However, such spatial models perform best with empirical data from large-scale comprehensive surveys that collect extensive abundance and distribution data. Wildlife surveys using remote cameras is a method that enables the collection of a high volume of data that can be readily used in analyses and models to inform corridor and connectivity conservation planning.
Gracanin, Ana, Connectivity conservation for arboreal marsupials in a fragmented landscape, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, 2023. https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses1/1725
FoR codes (2008)
0602 ECOLOGY, 0604 GENETICS, 0608 ZOOLOGY, 0699 OTHER BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.