Bobtails and dugites – reptiles in the city

By Ashleigh Wolfe.  The study of urban ecology is a rising topic within the ecological research community, and as urban sprawl increases across the globe, and more and more people are moving to urbanised areas, the need to understand how we as humans impact wildlife is growing. Urbanisation presents novel challenges for wildlife in many…

Results are in! Highlights from backyard bandicoot spy-cams

By Emily Webster and Janine Kuehs.  Many lucky residents of Mandurah and surrounds will have seen or heard about the bandicoot also known as quenda. You might even be proud to share your backyard with a quenda or two. But quenda areimpacted by expanding urban development fragmenting their habitat, and the presence of introduced predators…

As humans change the world, predators seize the chance to succeed

Published in The Conversation and in Animal Behaviour By Bill Bateman and Trish Fleming.  If you have ever been to a nature reserve in Africa, you may have been lucky enough to see predators on a kill – maybe something spectacular like lions on a giraffe. The chances are you got to see that because…

Bandicoots in the ‘burbs? St Emilie’s in Canning Vale get a science lesson from Murdoch Researchers

By Janine Kuehs and Natasha Tay.  The Backyard Bandicooteers attended something a little different last week! St Emilie’s Primary School science teacher Kerrie Cogger contacted Murdoch University after they discovered little diggings in their school’s bushland. Mrs Cogger, along with her students (who together undertake many activities in the bushland), set up a motion activated…

Real Backyard Bandicoots #1

By Melvyn Tuckey; Greenfields resident, committee member of Peel Preservation Group Inc. and avid nature lover. Early in 2017, Melvyn noticed a new creature visiting his backyard, and so begins the “Story of Bandi”… It was around midnight sometime in late January that I first sighted an unusual creature in my backyard. On this particular…

Is ecotourism good or bad? The answer is never simple…

Bill Bateman & Trish Fleming.  Humans innately like to categorise things.  Perhaps this helps us to compartmentalise and understand the world.  Zoology, and other life sciences, tend not to be so amenable to this; taxonomically and ecologically and physiologically and genetically there is always overlap, there is always some confusion.  The study of behaviour is…

Backyard bandicoots

By Trish Fleming and Amanda Kristancic.  They come in the middle of the night to raid our gardens of fungi, bulbs, and grubs – leaving in their wake characteristic small conical diggings across lawns and flower beds.  Sharing our cities with southern brown bandicoots (quenda) is something that Perth and Mandurah residents have come to…

Remote cameras in your closets?

By Peter Adams. Eventually it happens to all of us, the lab gets cluttered with equipment, space becomes a premium and inevitably you have no other option but to face facts, it’s time for the dreaded lab clean up.  I discovered boxes of old cameras that have sparked off a trip down memory lane.

Foxes in the city

By Bill Bateman & Trish Fleming. Of all the species described as ‘urban adapters’, it is perhaps the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) that is most well-known.  In Europe, foxes seem to have been hanging around towns and cities for centuries – certainly urban foxes were recorded around London in the 1800s [1].  Today, the red…

Are urban ravens really ‘thugs’ and ‘murderers’?

By Bill Bateman.  There has been a series of letters in West Australian newspapers recently that have prompted me to write this piece: the letters complain about an apparent rise in the number of ravens (Corvus coronoides) in suburbs and a concomitant decline in other bird species. The ravens are accused of nest robbing: “there…

Death on the road

Bill Bateman & Lauren Gilson.  Perhaps the most fundamental impact we can have on wildlife is killing it.  We can be very opinionated on the rights and wrongs of killing animals; for instance, hunting is a very emotive issue.  One cause of death of wildlife that we might not think about that much but which…

Life in the city: urban carnivores

by Bill Bateman & Trish Fleming.  Our paper “Bateman P.W. & Fleming P.A. (2012). Review Article. Big city life: carnivores in urban environments. Journal of Zoology, 287, 1–23” has made it on to the list top cited papers of 2013 for Journal of Zoology.  Obviously enough, it pleases us that our research is making an…