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Title: Estimating brush-tailed rock-wallaby population size using individual animal recognition
Contributor(s): Vernes, Karl A  (author)orcid ; Green, Stuart W  (author); Thomas, Piers (author)
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1071/AM11005
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Abstract: We undertook surveys of brush-tailed rock-wallabies ('Petrogale penicillata') at four colonies in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, north-eastern New South Wales, with the aim of developing a technique based upon individual animal recognition that could be used to obtain robust population estimates for rock-wallaby colonies. We identified individuals on the basis of distinct morphological characters in each colony using visual observations, and used the data within a 'mark-recapture' (or sight-resight) framework to estimate population size. More than 37 h of observations were made over 10 sampling days between 18 May and 9 June 2010. We could identify 91.7% of all rock-wallabies that were independently sighted (143 of 156 sightings of 35 animals). A small percentage of animals could not be identified during a visit because they were seen only fleetingly, were in dense cover, or were partly obscured by rock. The number of new animals sighted and photographed declined sharply at the midpoint of the survey, and there was a corresponding increase in resighting of known individuals. Population estimates using the mark-recapture methodology were nearly identical to estimates of total animals seen, suggesting that this method was successful in obtaining a complete census of rock-wallabies in each colony.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Mammalogy, 33(2), p. 228-234
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Australia
ISSN: 1836-7402
Field of Research (FOR): 050206 Environmental Monitoring
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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