Camera traps reveal high dingo/low cat density in Artesian Range
- Charnley River – Artesian Range | Mornington-Marion Downs | Tableland
- Field Program
- Science: surveys and research
May 2014: A high density of dingoes has been revealed in predator monitoring camera traps retrieved from the south-eastern parts of the Artesian Range. The camera traps recorded relatively few feral cats, perhaps a result of the large dingo population.
Camera trap arrays are set out across our Kimberley sanctuaries for periods of three weeks to monitor predator (dingo and cat) density. AWC are pioneering a technique involving individual identification of dingoes (from ear tags and facial markings) and cats (from coat patterns) to measure actual abundance, rather than an index of activity.
Over the next few months, camera trap arrays of between 25 and 40 camera traps will be deployed across Marion Downs, Tableland and the south and north of Mornington, amounting to between 525 and 840 camera trap nights per array.
The data provides an important measure of the responses in predator populations to our land management programs such as destocking and fire management. It also adds to our understanding of the possible role of dingoes in reducing the impact of feral cats. This forms part of the broader measurement of the ecological health of our sanctuaries, along with our small mammal, reptile and vegetation surveys.