University of Tasmania

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Research supporting restoration aiming to make a fragmented landscape ‘functional’ for native wildlife

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 04:57 authored by Menna JonesMenna Jones, Glen Bain, Rowena HamerRowena Hamer, Kirstin Proft, Gardiner, RZ, Kirsty Dixon, Kawinwit KittipalawattanapolKawinwit Kittipalawattanapol, Zepeda de Alba, AL, Ranyard, CE, Sarah MunksSarah Munks, Leon BarmutaLeon Barmuta, Christopher BurridgeChristopher Burridge, Christopher JohnsonChristopher Johnson, Neil Davidson
Temperate woodlands are amongst the most threatened ecosystems in Australia because the land on which they occur is highly suited to agriculture. Two hundred years of habitat loss and fragmentation in the Midlands agricultural region in Tasmania have led to widespread declines in native vertebrates and landscapes with populations of predators including feral Cat (Felis catus) and the native-invasive Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala). Ecologists at the University of Tasmania co-designed mechanistic animal-centric research on mammals and birds in the Midlands to inform vegetation restoration carried out by Greening Australia that would support the recovery of wildlife species. We used species-appropriate technologies to assess the decisions made by individual animals to find food and shelter and to disperse across this fragmented landscape, and linked these, together with patterns of occupancy, across multiple spatial and temporal scales. We focussed on a native (Spotted-tailed Quoll, Dasyurus maculatus) and an invasive (feral Cat, Felis catus) carnivore, a woodland-specialist herbivore (Eastern Bettong, Bettongia gaimardi) and woodland birds including the native-invasive Noisy Miner. Our results, which show intense predatory and competitive pressure of cats and populations of Noisy Miner on native fauna, highlight how grounding restoration in the context of ecological interactions is essential to success in managing the impacts of invasive species in restored landscapes. Successful restoration will require innovative approaches in plantings and field experimentation with artificial refuges, to reduce habitat suitability for the Noisy Miner and cats and provide refuges for native mammals and birds to live in the landscape where cats also occur. Our results emphasise the significance of structural complexity of restoration plantings for supporting the recolonisation and persistence of native fauna. At large landscape-scale, we demonstrate the importance of retaining small habitat elements, including ancient paddock trees, pivot irrigation corners and small, degraded remnants, in facilitating occupancy and dispersal and, therefore, persistence of wild animals across this agricultural region.


Australian Research Council

Greening Australia (TAS) Ltd


Publication title

Ecological Management & Restoration








School of Natural Sciences


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2021 Ecological Society of Australia and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments

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