Follow the road – bilbies and cats use access tracks

By Stuart Dawson.  As humans, we follow linear clearings all day.  Every road, footpath, and hallway is a clearly defined, linear opening that allows us to move easily, quickly, and (excluding some beautiful European cities) reduces the likelihood of becoming lost. When these roads and tracks are within undisturbed vegetation, such as across much of…

Secrets of the noodji (native ash-grey mouse)

By Kiarrah Smith.  Despite being subject to the greatest rate of Australian mammal species extinction over recent times, native rodents are a relatively poorly studied group. The risk of rapid decline is particularly valid for species considered ‘least concern’, but for which we have very little understanding of their biology or habitat requirements. One such…

Runways and fancy feet – tracking escape paths of marsupials

By Natasha Tay.  Ever thought you’d spend two weeks in the bush giving bettongs rave party feet and putting them on a runway for science? I travelled to Arid Recovery in South Australia this past May to do exactly that. My PhD investigates anti-predator behaviour in marsupials, focussing on how anatomy affects their physical ability…

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…

Wild dog control

A three-year project examining control of wild dogs has been finalised.  A summary of our findings on wild dog impacts is available. This work will be continued as part of a grant awarded under the Western Australian Wild Dog Action Plan.  You can read about this proposed work here or here. We surveyed landholders for…

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…

Advances in Mammalogy in a Changing World #IMC12

By Trish Fleming.  750 mammal experts made the long trip to Perth last week, to discuss breaking research on their favourite furballs at the 12th International Mammal Congress.  There were up to 10 parallel sessions, which made it difficult deciding which talks to attend at any one time – no two attendees would have come…

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…

Dead animals offer a treasure trove of data

By Trish Fleming.  Red foxes were introduced into Australia from Europe and have become established over the continent over the last 100 years (Saunders et al. 1995). The red fox has contributed to the extinction of more than 25 Australian mammal species (reviewed by Saunders, Gentle & Dickman 2010, Woinarski et al. 2014). The Red…