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…

Five Noongar eagles take to the sky

Simon Cherriman has been placing satellite-trackers on juvenile wedge-tailed eagles as part of his PhD studies.  His project is investigating juvenile dispersal in these iconic birds, comparing how birds from arid and mesic parts of WA move when they leave the nest.  Recently, five birds from the Perth region have been ‘sat-tagged’ – Simon will…

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…

Bird Banding, long-term research, and ethics

By Bill Bateman.  Hans Christian Cornelius Mortensen, back in the late 1890s, made small bands of aluminium, marked with his name and address, and attached them to the legs of birds – from starlings through to storks.  Since then, bird ringing (in the UK and some other parts of the world, such as South Africa)…