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Type: Journal article
Title: Scale-dependent habitat analysis and implications for climate change risk for the southern hairy-nosed wombat
Author: Marshall, V.
Taggart, D.
Ostendorf, B.
Citation: Australian Mammalogy, 2018; 40(2):162-172
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0310-0049
Statement of
Victoria M. Marshall, David A. Taggart and Bertram Ostendorf
Abstract: Understanding factors determining the distribution of a species is critical for developing strategies and policies in natural resources management. The southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) is an excellent model species to examine species distribution patterns because of its conspicuous burrowing behaviour, making it possible to obtain highly accurate distribution maps. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relative importance of biophysical factors impacting on the species’ distribution at regional and continental scales. At the fine scale, we digitised the distribution of individual warrens within a population, whereas at the continental scale we utilised the entire species’ distribution. At the regional level, the strongest predictors of burrowing activity were soil characteristics and geology with little influence of climate. In contrast, at the continental scale, species distribution was most strongly influenced by climatic variables, with most of the distribution located in regions with narrow ranges of mean annual maximum temperature (23−25°C) and mean annual rainfall (200–300 mm). This discrepancy suggests that the species’ distribution is limited to small geographic areas where both a suitable climate and appropriate soil and geology exist and, consequently, that conservation strategies need to adopt a long-term view considering the combined effect of both regional and continental factors.
Keywords: Arid zone; burrow; GIS; habitat preferences; Lasiorhinus latifrons; marsupial; remote sensing; warren
Rights: Journal compilation © Australian Mammal Society 2018
DOI: 10.1071/AM16060
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