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|Title:||Southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) in the Gawler Ranges region of South Australia: population growth from 1988 to 2016|
|Citation:||Australian Mammalogy, 2019; 41(1):112-122|
|Michael Swinbourne, David Taggart, Alyce Swinbourne and Bertram Ostendorf|
|Abstract:||The southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) is the faunal emblem of South Australia. It is also considered to be an agricultural pest, as its burrowing activities can cause significant damage to agricultural land and infrastructure. Unfortunately, much of our knowledge of this species’ population dynamics is limited and/or out of date. The aim of this study was to estimate the distribution and abundance of southern hairy-nosed wombats in the Gawler Ranges region of South Australia, and to identify any changes since the last survey in 1988. Using a combination of satellite imagery and a ground survey conducted in May 2016, we mapped the distribution of wombat warrens in the region and counted and measured all warrens within 1000 randomly selected 1-km2 cells. We estimate the current wombat population in the Gawler Ranges to be 240 095 (149 051–311 595), an increase from 14 373 in 1988. This population growth is most likely linked to a long-term decline in the European rabbit population following the release of RHVD in the 1990s. In 2016 the IUCN upgraded the conservation status of southern hairy-nosed wombats from ‘Least Concern’ to ‘Near Threatened’. Our findings suggest that this may not have been warranted.|
|Keywords:||Abundance; marsupial; population distribution; Vombatidae|
|Rights:||Journal compilation © Australian Mammal Society 2019|
|Appears in Collections:||Aurora harvest 3|
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