Reptile surveys were conducted in the early 1990s in the Dorrigo Forest Management Area, an area formerly comprising timber-production forests managed by the Forestry Commission of New South Wales. The surveys consisted of searches for reptiles along 54 transects together with targeted surveys. Twenty-two 500 m transects were located in previously logged forest and 32 in unlogged forest. Each transect was surveyed twice at an average seven days apart in the spring-summer of 1993 by two persons simultaneously for a duration of 90 min each. A total of 26 reptile species were detected during systematic surveys and 22 reptile species during targeted diurnal searches and opportunistic sightings. The highest species richness and density of reptiles were recorded in the logged New England Hardwood and Gorge Red Gum forest types. The Moist Hardwood type, with a closed mid-canopy had the lowest reptile species richness and density. Neither species richness nor number of individuals varied significantly with logging history. Analysis of abundances of two species of skink that accounted for 88% of detections during transect searches found that the Grass Skink Lampropholis delicata was more abundant in logged sites and during the second survey, whereas the Scute-snouted Calyptotis Calyptotis scutirostrum had higher densities in unlogged sites and in the first count. However, species richness did not vary significantly with logging history, forest type or count. Stephens' Banded Snake Hoplocephalus stephensii, listed under the TSC Act (1995), was observed in the survey area by State Forests' staff. Another 15 species of reptiles recorded during surveys are considered as conservation priority species (Scotts 1996). The Major Skink Bellatorias frerei had not previously been recorded in the survey area and represented a southern range extension. The survey was unable to assess the impacts of logging on threatened species because of low numbers detected. Approaches to improve this situation in future surveys are discussed.
Survey of the reptiles of the montane forests near Dorrigo on the north coast of New South Wales
Garry Daly, Glenn Hoye; Survey of the reptiles of the montane forests near Dorrigo on the north coast of New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2016; 38 (1): 26–42. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2015.035
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