Previous approaches to indirect detection of koala presence have been proposed, however, the present paper identifies issues of bias, pellet detectability and over-analysis of information inherent in those prior techniques. We recommend an approach that reduces bias, can be consistently applied and enables information on presence of koalas Phascolarctos cinereus to be used to inform larger survey programs, ‘ground-truth’ predictive habitat mapping, etc. We describe a rapid assessment methodology based on indirect signs that provides a reproducible, statistically valid, time-efficient and resource-efficient protocol for determining the presence of this species. The application, advantages and limitations of this ‘koala rapid assessment method’ (KRAM) are discussed with reference to its role in the design of detailed and landscape scale P. cinereus surveys.
What faecal pellet surveys can and can't reveal about the ecology of koalas Phascolarctos cinereus
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Olivia Woosnam-Merchez, Romane Cristescu, David Dique, Bill Ellis, Robert Beeton, Jeremy Simmonds, Frank Carrick; What faecal pellet surveys can and can't reveal about the ecology of koalas Phascolarctos cinereus. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2012; 36 (2): 192–200. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2012.030
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