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The impacts of urbanisation on the biodiversity of native plants and animals are typically deleterious and potentially profound. These consequences are likely to increase as the size of the human population and geographic extent of many urban areas continue to expand. Unfortunately, the absence of detailed “before development” data makes it difficult to accurately assess changes in species diversity or abundance over time. In this study, atlas data are used to investigate the impacts of urbanisation of the greater Melbourne area on the composition of the mammal community. The mammal community of Melbourne at the time of European settlement in 1856 was diverse, with 50 species recorded. A broad measure of change in distribution found that 16 species were recorded in fewer local government areas in the last 20 years than in the preceding years to 1856; the majority were small ground-dwelling mammals. The converse was true for the microchiropteran bats, with 14 species being recorded in more local government areas after 1980, probably a reflection of improved survey techniques. There was little to no relationship at the landscape scale between the presence of a species or species group and the amount of remnant vegetation or public open space within a 700 m radius of the survey point. This is probably because species that rely on tracts of native vegetation are unable to persist in the urban mosaic of greater Melbourne, while more generalist species are able to cope with the radical changes associated with urbanisation. This study has highlighted the need for surveys of mammal communities that are stratified across the urban landscape to document the conservation status of species and provide the foundation for future state of the environment reporting.

Burbidge, A. A., and McKenzie, N. L. 1989. Patterns in the modern decline of Western Australia's vertebrate fauna: causes and conservation implications. Biological Conservation 50: 143-198.
Conn, B. J. 1993. Natural regions and vegetation of Victoria. Pp. 79-158 in Flora of Victoria. Volume 1 Introduction. edited by D. B. Foreman and N. G. Walsh. Inkata Press: Melbourne.
Department of Infrastructure. 2002 The Victorian Population Bulletin. Department of Infrastructure: Melbourne.
Dixon, J. M. 1966. Bandicoots - partial survival in times of possible extinction. Victoria's Resources 8: 62-63.
Fenton, M. B. 1970. A technique for monitoring bat activity with results obtained from different environments in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Zoology 48: 847-851.
Flannery, T. (ed). 2000 Terra Australis. Matthew Flinders Great Adventures in the Circumnavigation of Australia. Text Publishing: Melbourne.
Hahs, A. 2001. Long-term ecological research in Australia. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of Australia 31: 11-14.
Harvey, A. 1982 The Melbourne Book. Hutchinson Group PTY LTD: Melbourne.
Hosmer, D. W., and Lemeshow, S. 1989 Applied Logistic Regression. John Wiley and Sons: New York.
Leary, E., and McDonnell, M. 2001. Quantifying public open space in metropolitan Melbourne. Parks and Leisure Australia September: 34-36.
Ling, J. K. 1999. Exploitation of fur seals and sea lions from Australian, New Zealand and adjacent subantarctic islands during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Australian Zoologist 31: 323-350
Lunney, D., and Leary, T. 1988. The impact on native mammals of land-use changes and exotic species in the Bega district, New South Wales, since settlement. Australian Journal of Ecology 13: 67-92.
Lunney, D., Law, B., and Rummery, C. 1997. An ecological interpretation of the historical decline of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Petrogale penicillata in New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 19: 281-296.
Marks, C. A., and Bloomfield, T. E. 1999. Distribution and density estimates for urban foxes ( Vulpes vulpes) in Melbourne: implications for rabies control. Wildlife Research 26: 763-775.
Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A. A., and Morris, K. (Eds). 1996 The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Environment Australia: Canberra.
McCarthy, M. A. 1998. Identifying declining and threatened species with museum data. Biological Conservation 83: 9-17.
Menkhorst, P. M., and Dixon, J. M. 1985. Influxes of the grey-headed flying fox Pteropus poliocephalus (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) to Victoria in 1981 and 1982. Australian Mammalogy 8: 117-121.
Menkhorst, P. W. (ed). 1995 Mammals of Victoria. Oxford University Press: Melbourne.
Nakamura, T., and Short, K. 2001. Land-use planning and distribution of threatened wildlife in a city of Japan. Landscape and Urban Planning 53: 1-15.
Newton, P. W., Baum, S., Bhatia, K., Brown, S. K., Cameron, A. S., Foran, B., Grant, T., Mak, S. L., Memmott, P. C., Mitchell, V. G., Neate, K. L., Pears, A., Smith, N., Stimson, R. J., Tucker, S. N., and Yencken, D. 2001 Human Settlements, Australia State of the Environment Report 2001 (Theme Report). CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage: Canberra.
NRE. 2000 Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria. Department of Natural Resources and Environment: East Melbourne.
Parry-Jones, K. A., and Augee, M. L. 2001. Factors affecting the occupation of a colony site in Sydney, New South Wales by the grey-headed flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus (Pteropodidae). Austral Ecology 26: 47-55.
Pergams, O. R., and Nyberg, D. 2001. Museum collections of mammals corroborate the exceptional decline of prairie habitat in the Chicago region. Journal of Mammalogy 82: 984-992.
Recher, H. F., and Lim, L. 1990. A review of current ideas of the extinction, conservation and management of Australia's terrestrial vertebrate fauna. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 16: 287-301.
Seebeck, J. H. 1977. Mammals in the Melbourne metropolitan area. The Victorian Naturalist 94: 165-171.
Serena, M., Thomas, J. L., Williams, G. A., and Officer, R. C. E. 1998. Use of stream and river habitats by the platypus ( Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in an urban fringe environment. Australian Journal of Zoology 46: 267-282.
Short, J., and Smith, A. 1994. Mammal decline and recovery in Australia. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 288-297.
Short, J., and Calaby, J. H. 2001. The status of Australian mammals in 1922 - collections and field notes of museum collector Charles Hoy. Australian Zoologist 31: 533-562.
Smith, A. P., and Quinn, D. G. 1996. Patterns and causes of extinction and decline in Australian conilurine rodents. Biological Conservation 77: 243-267.
State of Victoria. 2000 Housing Melbourne. Change, People, Places. Department of Infrastructure: Melbourne.
Statham, M., and Statham, H. L. 1997. Movements and habitats of brushtail possums ( Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in an urban area. Wildlife Research 24: 715-726.
Telfer, M. G., Preston, C. D., and Rothery, P. 2002. A general method for measuring relative change in range size from biological atlas data. Biological Conservation 107: 99-109.
Tidemann, C. R., and Woodside, D. P. 1978. A collapsible bat-trap and a comparison of results obtained with the trap and mist-nets. Australian Wildlife Research 5: 355-362.
Vallance, T. G., Moore, D. T., and Groves, E. W. 2001 Nature's Investigator. The diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801- 1805. Australian Biological Resources Study: Canberra.
Wilson, B. A. 1996. The distribution and status of the new holland mouse Pseudomys novaehollandiae (Waterhouse 1843) in Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 19: 31-46.
World Resources Institute. 1996. World Resources. A Guide to the Global Environment: The Urban Environment. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
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References

Burbidge, A. A., and McKenzie, N. L. 1989. Patterns in the modern decline of Western Australia's vertebrate fauna: causes and conservation implications. Biological Conservation 50: 143-198.
Conn, B. J. 1993. Natural regions and vegetation of Victoria. Pp. 79-158 in Flora of Victoria. Volume 1 Introduction. edited by D. B. Foreman and N. G. Walsh. Inkata Press: Melbourne.
Department of Infrastructure. 2002 The Victorian Population Bulletin. Department of Infrastructure: Melbourne.
Dixon, J. M. 1966. Bandicoots - partial survival in times of possible extinction. Victoria's Resources 8: 62-63.
Fenton, M. B. 1970. A technique for monitoring bat activity with results obtained from different environments in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Zoology 48: 847-851.
Flannery, T. (ed). 2000 Terra Australis. Matthew Flinders Great Adventures in the Circumnavigation of Australia. Text Publishing: Melbourne.
Hahs, A. 2001. Long-term ecological research in Australia. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of Australia 31: 11-14.
Harvey, A. 1982 The Melbourne Book. Hutchinson Group PTY LTD: Melbourne.
Hosmer, D. W., and Lemeshow, S. 1989 Applied Logistic Regression. John Wiley and Sons: New York.
Leary, E., and McDonnell, M. 2001. Quantifying public open space in metropolitan Melbourne. Parks and Leisure Australia September: 34-36.
Ling, J. K. 1999. Exploitation of fur seals and sea lions from Australian, New Zealand and adjacent subantarctic islands during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Australian Zoologist 31: 323-350
Lunney, D., and Leary, T. 1988. The impact on native mammals of land-use changes and exotic species in the Bega district, New South Wales, since settlement. Australian Journal of Ecology 13: 67-92.
Lunney, D., Law, B., and Rummery, C. 1997. An ecological interpretation of the historical decline of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Petrogale penicillata in New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 19: 281-296.
Marks, C. A., and Bloomfield, T. E. 1999. Distribution and density estimates for urban foxes ( Vulpes vulpes) in Melbourne: implications for rabies control. Wildlife Research 26: 763-775.
Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A. A., and Morris, K. (Eds). 1996 The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Environment Australia: Canberra.
McCarthy, M. A. 1998. Identifying declining and threatened species with museum data. Biological Conservation 83: 9-17.
Menkhorst, P. M., and Dixon, J. M. 1985. Influxes of the grey-headed flying fox Pteropus poliocephalus (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) to Victoria in 1981 and 1982. Australian Mammalogy 8: 117-121.
Menkhorst, P. W. (ed). 1995 Mammals of Victoria. Oxford University Press: Melbourne.
Nakamura, T., and Short, K. 2001. Land-use planning and distribution of threatened wildlife in a city of Japan. Landscape and Urban Planning 53: 1-15.
Newton, P. W., Baum, S., Bhatia, K., Brown, S. K., Cameron, A. S., Foran, B., Grant, T., Mak, S. L., Memmott, P. C., Mitchell, V. G., Neate, K. L., Pears, A., Smith, N., Stimson, R. J., Tucker, S. N., and Yencken, D. 2001 Human Settlements, Australia State of the Environment Report 2001 (Theme Report). CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage: Canberra.
NRE. 2000 Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria. Department of Natural Resources and Environment: East Melbourne.
Parry-Jones, K. A., and Augee, M. L. 2001. Factors affecting the occupation of a colony site in Sydney, New South Wales by the grey-headed flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus (Pteropodidae). Austral Ecology 26: 47-55.
Pergams, O. R., and Nyberg, D. 2001. Museum collections of mammals corroborate the exceptional decline of prairie habitat in the Chicago region. Journal of Mammalogy 82: 984-992.
Recher, H. F., and Lim, L. 1990. A review of current ideas of the extinction, conservation and management of Australia's terrestrial vertebrate fauna. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 16: 287-301.
Seebeck, J. H. 1977. Mammals in the Melbourne metropolitan area. The Victorian Naturalist 94: 165-171.
Serena, M., Thomas, J. L., Williams, G. A., and Officer, R. C. E. 1998. Use of stream and river habitats by the platypus ( Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in an urban fringe environment. Australian Journal of Zoology 46: 267-282.
Short, J., and Smith, A. 1994. Mammal decline and recovery in Australia. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 288-297.
Short, J., and Calaby, J. H. 2001. The status of Australian mammals in 1922 - collections and field notes of museum collector Charles Hoy. Australian Zoologist 31: 533-562.
Smith, A. P., and Quinn, D. G. 1996. Patterns and causes of extinction and decline in Australian conilurine rodents. Biological Conservation 77: 243-267.
State of Victoria. 2000 Housing Melbourne. Change, People, Places. Department of Infrastructure: Melbourne.
Statham, M., and Statham, H. L. 1997. Movements and habitats of brushtail possums ( Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in an urban area. Wildlife Research 24: 715-726.
Telfer, M. G., Preston, C. D., and Rothery, P. 2002. A general method for measuring relative change in range size from biological atlas data. Biological Conservation 107: 99-109.
Tidemann, C. R., and Woodside, D. P. 1978. A collapsible bat-trap and a comparison of results obtained with the trap and mist-nets. Australian Wildlife Research 5: 355-362.
Vallance, T. G., Moore, D. T., and Groves, E. W. 2001 Nature's Investigator. The diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801- 1805. Australian Biological Resources Study: Canberra.
Wilson, B. A. 1996. The distribution and status of the new holland mouse Pseudomys novaehollandiae (Waterhouse 1843) in Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 19: 31-46.
World Resources Institute. 1996. World Resources. A Guide to the Global Environment: The Urban Environment. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
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