RIEL Seminar Series - Habitat requirements of arboreal mammals in northern Australia's tropical savannas


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Presenter:  Cara Penton, Alyson Stobo-Wilson and Leigh-Ann Woolley

Date: Aug 02, 2019

Time: 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Contact person:  RIEL
T: +61 8 8946 6413
E: riel@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Charles Darwin University, Building Yellow 1.1.39

The disproportionate decline of semi-arboreal and arboreal mammals in northern Australia has highlighted substantial knowledge gaps in the habitat requirements of these species; specifically their dependence on tree-hollows.

The presenters of this seminar will collectively share their findings on 1) the reliance of arboreal mammals on tree hollows, 2) variation in den-tree selection with habitat structure, and 3) the efficacy of using nest boxes as a management tool for these species.

The results from this body of work reveal that hollows are a potentially limiting resource for arboreal mammals in northern Australia, especially in areas of relatively low rainfall. Furthermore, nest-boxes may provide an intermittent management solution for arboreal mammals where hollow abundance is low.

Cara Penton is a current PhD candidate with RIEL. Her PhD research is investigating whether contemporary fire regimes are threatening the viability of populations of arboreal mammals in the Top End.
Alyson Stobo-Wilson is a recent PhD graduate from RIEL. Her PhD research described the ecology of the savanna glider (Petaurus ariel) in the tropical savannas of northern Australia. Alyson is now working as a research scientist for the Flora and Fauna division in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Northern Territory Government.
Leigh-Ann Woolley is a conservation ecologist with special interest in savanna ecosystem response to disturbance and stochastic change with RIEL. During PhD and post-doctoral research, she investigated the primary role of megaherbivores in African savanna dynamics, and is currently working on projects investigating the drivers of mammal decline in the tropical savannas of northern Australia, as well as the continental-scale impacts of invasive predators in Australia.