Science: surveys and research at Faure Island

Science: surveys and research at Faure Island

A regular program of biannual surveys is carried out on Faure Island.  In addition, monitoring is carried out after each translocation in order to measure its success.

In total, AWC ecologists undertake each year more than 400 live trap nights, 500 scat and tracking plot nights, 51 bird surveys at 17 sites, 41 km of spotlighting transects and 15 vegetation surveys.- to measure a suite of ecological health indicators including:

  • The abundance or occupancy of threatened mammals.
  • The diversity and abundance of other key faunal groups including terrestrial and shore birds, top order predators (goannas) and other reptiles.
  • The significance of threats such as weed occupancy.

Shorebirds are surveyed annually, including in collaboration with experienced members of Birdlife Western Australia. The results are used to monitor trends in the abundance and species richness of shorebirds visiting Faure Island.

Native vegetation and weeds are monitored at sites set up in four of the dominant vegetation types on the island.  At each site, exclusion fences were constructed to remove grazing and browsing impacts of mammal species. Paired inside/outside photo-monitoring points are established at each site and the structure of vegetation is measured.  

As indicated above, detailed monitoring is carried out after all translocation events.  For example, in 2013, 30 Banded Hare-wallabies were translocated to Faure Island to strengthen the existing population:  25 were radio-collared including 5 with GPS collars.  The data obtained from such monitoring helps measure the success of the translocation and informs the development of strategies for future reintroductions – e.g. at as part of the Mammal Restoration Program at Mt Gibson.