The New South Wales population of the Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus was estimated at 500 adults in 8 km2 of boulder-heath habitat during surveys in the 1980's. In 1989, this estimate was increased to 1312 adults based on further surveys in four of the identified habitat patches. However, further research indicated that population density varied greatly between habitat patches and that the original extent of habitat and the revised population estimate had been overestimated. Because of the high degree of uncertainty regarding the total population size of B. parvus in New South Wales and the relative value of each habitat patch, including those in ski resorts, it was necessary to re-evaluate these estimates. Results based on data collected between 1996 and 2001 indicated an adult population of around 613±92 in 1.85 km2 of boulderfield habitat. This population was distributed in scattered colonies within a modelled bioclimatic range of 444 km2 of suitable climate, based on modelling of the then known southern Kosciuszko B. parvus population. However the notional extent of suitable climate has been greatly enlarged by the recent discovery of a northern Kosciuszko population. Establishing which boulderfields to target for future surveys within the enlarged potential climate envelope is not simple. No strong association with any habitat characteristics were identified by habitat analysis, however, deeper boulderfields with a variety of boulder sizes and reasonable vegetation cover were generally preferred. Changes in habitat characteristics across the elevational gradient partly explained the difficulty in modelling habitat preference.
Re-assessment of Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus population size and distribution of habitat in Kosciuszko National Park
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L. Broome, F. Ford, M. Dawson, K. Green, D. Little, N. McElhinney; Re-assessment of Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus population size and distribution of habitat in Kosciuszko National Park. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2013; 36 (4): 381–403. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2013.009
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