Mammals and reptiles take centre stage at Bowra

Mammals and reptiles take centre stage at Bowra
Field Program
Science: surveys and research
Gile's Planigale

October 2014: Renowned for its spectacular birdlife, it was mammals and reptiles that took centre stage at Bowra during our two week biological survey.  As part of our annual ecological health “audit” of Bowra, AWC ecologists and specialist volunteers conducted a total of 2,640 standard trap nights across funnel, Elliott and pitfall traps and undertook 11 hrs of spotlighting, 10 harp trap nights and 260 camera trap nights.

A highlight of the survey was the capture of four Giles Planigales (Planigale gilesi) and four Stripe-faced Dunnarts (Sminthopsis macroura), all except one with 6-8 pouch young. The survey team also managed to capture by hand an Inland Short-tailed Mouse (Leggadina forresti) on one of the saltbush and cracking clay plains on the southern part of the sanctuary.

Three mammal species were also confirmed for Bowra for the first time during this survey; the Little Cave Bat (Vespadelus troughtoni), Brush-tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and a Bristle-faced Freetail Bat (Mormopterus eleryi).

Spotlight surveys revealed numerous geckoes including the Velvet Gecko (Oedura marmorata), Tree Dtella (Gehyra versicolor), Burrow Plug Gecko (Diplodactylus conspicillatus), Box-patterned Gecko (Lucasium steindachneri), Eastern Beaked Gecko (Rhynchoedura ormsbyi) and Spiny-tail Gecko (Strophurus williamsi). In addition there were a number of snake sightings including the Mud Adder (Denisonia devisi), Red-naped Snake (Furina diadema), Dwyer's Snake (Parasuta dwyeri), Carpet Python (Morelia spilota), Curl Snake (Suta suta), Ringed Brown Snake (Pseudonaja modesta) and Australian Coral Snake (Brachyurophis australis).

The data obtained from ecological health surveys such as this one are used to monitor the ongoing ecological health of Bowra.