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Science: surveys and research at North Head
Conservation of Long-nosed bandicoots
Long-nosed Bandicoots (Perameles nasuta) are distributed along the east coast of Australia. Like other ‘critical weight range’ mammals, bandicoots are vulnerable to predation by foxes and feral cats. Once widespread and common in Sydney, Long-nosed Bandicoots are now restricted to a few populations, including a small isolated population (less than 170 individuals) on North Head. AWC is undertaking research to help protect this threatened population, including:
- Monitoring the size of the population (in conjunction with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service);
- Keeping track of threats, such as incursions by feral predators, and road-kills;
- Conducting research on the restoration of vegetation and its value for bandicoots;
- Conducting research on the ecology of bandicoots.
Reintroduction research program
AWC is undertaking monitoring and research to understand the outcomes of reintroductions for the species and ecosystems of North Head. Our work includes:
- Managing and measuring the success of reintroductions and the establishment of sustainable populations;
- Determining how reintroduced mammals use available habitats at North Head;
- Examining social and behavioural interactions amongst reintroduced species, and between reintroduced species and feral animals. For example, our research has shown that the native Bush Rats can defend territories from reinvading black rats;
- Identifying management actions to help sustain reintroduced populations. AWC has identified a number of other mammals that could be reintroduced to North Head. We are currently developing strategies for their reintroduction to enhance the conservation value of the headland.
AWC has developed a framework for measuring the ecological health of its sanctuaries that can be applied consistently across a broad array of landscapes, habitats and species. AWC’s measurement framework involves an assessment of indicators that relate to each of three Ecological Health Goals. AWC applied this framework to North Head to develop the North Head Ecological Health Monitoring Framework (EHMF).