Forest wildlife and habitat management in southwestern Australia: knowledge, research and direction
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Grant Wardell-Johnson, Owen Nichols, 1991. "Forest wildlife and habitat management in southwestern Australia: knowledge, research and direction", Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna, Daniel Lunney
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1Department of Conservation and Land Management, Research Centre, Brain Street, Manjimup, Western Australia, Australia 6258.
2Alcoa of Australia Ltd. P.O. Box 252, Applecross, Western Australia, Australia 6153.
A review is provided of research concerning forest wildlife and habitat management in southwestem Australia. We divide the research into biogeography, fauna and disturbance ecology. Many community studies have been earned out in the Darling Botanical District but no attempt has yet been made to define the overall pattern of any group of biota in that district or any of the four subdistricts of the area. Methods to assess the extent of representation of species and assemblages in the reserve system are reviewed and will require adoption as land-use demands on the forests continue to intensify.
Studies on fauna have concentrated on vulnerable and rare species, especially mammals, and some are the subject of detailed management programmes that have attracted funding and provided focus for research and management effort Habitat requirements and factors influencing distributions of many species remain poorly understood.
Most research in the Darling District has been directed to disturbance ecology including mining, logging, fire and plant disease. Rehabilitation following bauxite mining and the dynamics and management of dieback disease caused by Phytophthora dnnamomi in the jarrah forest has been studied in considerable detail. Apart from clearing for agriculture, plant diseases caused by Phytophthora spp. pose the greatest threat to plant and animal communities of the Darling District Process understanding remains inadequate to predict responses following disturbance and integrated studies on the response of the biota to disturbance will be necessary to allow the development of predictive models. Funding for an expanded programme of research on the impacts of exploitation on forest wildlife should come from relevant forest-based industries.