News

18th June, 2020: We’re pleased to offer a PhD opportunity for an eligible Australian student. This tax-exempt scholarship with a top-up is available for a student to join our research program on the biodiversity values of saline land restoration in the northern agricultural region of WA. For more details please see here.

1st May, 2018: Our latest piece in The Conversation explores how the liberal use of rat and mouse bait is affecting Australian wildlife and how reptiles may have a particularly significant role to play. Check it out here.

18th April, 2018: We all have probably used rat and mouse bait at some point in our lives. But just how do these anti-coagulant baits affect wildlife in Australia, and how well regulated is their use? Our latest lab paper by PhD student Mike Lohr explores these dimensions and is free for the first 50 days in Science of the Total Environment. Check it out here.

7th August, 2017: Our research paper on the conservation status of the birds of New Britain (Papua New Guinea) is now out in the journal Bird Conservation International. There’s also been some good media coverage of this work:

The West Australian

ABC News

ABC Radio National podcast

28th June, 2017: Help us understand why Boobook owl’s are being poisoned. PhD student Mike Lohr needs your help to further his research. He is trying to raise at least $3000 by the end of the month. This will allow him to test an additional 10 samples for anticoagulant rodenticides (rat poison). He is planning on testing for 10 different rodenticides including one that he just found out is now being used in Western Australia. Donations will not only allow Mike to complete his research into how these poisons are impacting boobook owls, but will help him to demonstrate support for this research and hopefully expand the number of species tested in the future. Any amount is more than welcome and any extra funds raised will be put toward the other threats he is testing that may be impacting boobooks including inbreeding, nest hollow loss, and toxoplasmosis (a disease spread by cats). Thank you for your generosity and support and for sharing this link with anyone you think might be interested in helping protect out native wildlife!

http://webservices.web.ecu.edu.au/donations/

29th March, 2017: Rob considers the conservation implications of the first photographic confirmation of Night Parrots in WA last week in this article in The Conversation.

9th January, 2017: Happy New Year! The lab is looking forward to another great year in 2017. Currently Paul Radley is in Palau with some help from the lab’s Boobook owl PhD student Mike Lohr. They are undertaking Paul’s last field season for his PhD on the endangered Microensian Megapode. Floyd Holmes is wrapping up his Rottnest island PhD fieldwork on bird use of restoration, Candice Le Roux has just about finished her masters on Carnaby’s Cockatoo roost sites, Steven Spragg has been working hard collecting data on shorebird foraging ecology masters and postdoc Shaun Molloy has been working hard on Western Ground Parrot species distribution modelling and has a few other projects up his sleeve.

24th September: a couple of great papers have just been accepted. One is on our long term fire studies at Charles Darwin Reserve in conjunction with Bush Heritage and the other arising from Shaun Molloy’s PhD research looks at how south-western Brushtail possums survive in fragmented agricultural landscapes. Find more details in the publications section of this website.

31st August, 2016: A big congratulations to Mike Lohr who received a Vice Chancellor’s commendation for his research on the Southern Boobook. Mike was recognised for his engagement, in particular his work with many stakeholders such as wildlife carers and government departments and his large citizen science following that collects dead owls and report sighings of roosting birds to Mike. Well done!

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Mike Lohr happily displaying his award!

12th August 2016: Our latest research resulting from our long-running collaboration with Bush Heritage Australia has just been accepted for publication in Biodiversity and Conservation. It looks at the impacts of fire in semi-arid shrublands on bird communities.

22nd April 2016: Rob is currently on sabbatical at Otago University in Dunedin, NZ. Paul Radley has just finished a successful first field season in Palau and we just had a co-authored paper accepted in PLoS One, on Shaun Molloy’s PhD work on the south-west Brush-tailed Possum. Rob also lead a symposium proposal for the upcoming ESA conference in Fremantle and will be co-chaired a symposium on urban ecology. Rob is also presenting the lab’s work on the Northern Quoll at the upcoming Society for Conservation Biology conference in Brisbane.

22nd January 2016: PhD student Paul Radley is currently on his way to Palau to start our exciting Micronesian Megapode conservation research program. You can follow more at our custom website www.palaumegapode.com as Paul blogs in from the field.

7th December 2015: The wildlife lab is back from a very stimulating and successful time at the Australasian Ornithological Congress and the Ecological Society of Australia Conference both in Adelaide. Lab members and former members Dr Shaun Molloy, Dr Tim Doherty, Dr Sora Estrella and Dr Rob Davis presented talks.

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Dr Molloy presents on spatial distribution modelling for Northern Quolls at ESA 15.
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Dr Doherty presents on interactions between threatening processes at ESA15
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Dr Davis presents on the wildlife lab’s work on fire management for biodiversity with Bush Heritage Australia

Rob convened a symposium with colleague A/Prof. Martine Maron at the AOC on fire impacts on birds and it stimulated much discussion and debate. Dr Estrella also presented on shorebird use of saltworks at the AOC. It was a great way to finish the year and we look forward to 2016.

21st November 2015: Rob Davis is presenting at the upcoming Australasian Ornithological Congress (AOC) on the importance of long unburnt vegetation for birds and at the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) conference on how to best manage fire for biodiversity. Dr Shaun Molloy will also be presented a poster on his northern quoll modelling work at ESA and Dr Sora Estrella will be presenting on her shorebird work at the AOC.

12th October 2015: Mike Lohr has commenced his PhD fieldwork and so far he’s had good success catching Southern Boobooks in the suburbs of Perth. He hopes to discover how these owls respond to urbanisation and agriculture, as well as characterise the impacts of rodent anticoagulant poisons on them.

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PhD candidate Mike Lohr with a Southern Boobook

7th September 2015: The first week of spring brings some great progress for the wildlife lab. Floyd Holmes is on Rottnest Island studying the use of restoration by birds. He has successfully captured and banded Red-capped Robins and Western Golden Whistlers which he will be studying over the coming months. Paul Radley has received some funding from the Rufford Small Grants program and is planning his first field season in Palau to study the endangered Palau Megapode (check our new project website at www.palaumegapode.com). Mike Lohr has received positive feedback on his proposal to study Southern Boobook owl ecology and is planning his first field season. Melinda Henderson is progressing well in her honours and has produced some excellent kernel density estimates for Northern Quolls in the Pilbara.

6th September 2015: The Davis Lab will be presenting the results of their fire synthesis work in semi-arid shrublands at the Ecological Society of Australia Conference in Adelaide and Rob is convening a symposium on “Burning and birds” at the Australasian Ornithological Congress in November. The Davis Lab will also be attending the WA Threatened Species Forum in Geraldton on October 30.

4th September 2015: The wildlife lab has bid a sad farewell to Tim Doherty who is spreading his wings to develop his career in Melbourne, Australia. Find out more details and follow Tim at his website.

13th August 2015: Tim Doherty was awarded Best Student Presentation by the Oceania Section of the Society for Conservation Biology at the International Congress on Conservation Biology at Montpellier, France. This was for his poster on “Divergent responses of birds, mammals and reptiles to landscape-scale wildfire“. Well done Tim!

13 July 2015: Just accepted today a paper by Rob and colleagues on “Known Knowns and Unknowns in Biology” forthcoming in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Stay tuned for more on our novel model for categorising knowledge under a risk paradigm.

11 July 2015: Tim Doherty is off to the Threatened Species summit in Melbourne next week followed by travels to the ICCB Conference in Montpellier, France, where he’ll present on the wildlife lab’s shrubland fire ecology research.

10 July 2015: A big welcome to Steven Spragg who is joining the wildlife lab to undertake his Master’s research on shorebird foraging ecology in south-west WA guided by Rob, Sora and Pierre. We look forward to continuing our research interests on this imperilled group of birds.

2 July 2015: New research on predator interactions and management: Killing cats, rats and foxes is no silver bullet for saving wildlife. Paper free to access via the link at the end of that article until July 30.

3 June 2015: Our reptile fire ecology work has been featured in Science Network WA and community newspapers.

2 June 2015: A huge congratulations to Tim Doherty who has just submitted his PhD Thesis titled “Ecology of feral cats Felis catus and their prey in relation to shrubland fire regimes”. Tim will be sticking around the lab for a little while finishing up some papers, and attending the ICCB in Montpellier.

20 May 2015: Just published: Rapid recovery of an urban remnant reptile community following summer wildfire. Open Access at PLOS ONE.

18 May 2015: Just published: Response of feral cats to a track-based baiting programme using Eradicat baits. Read more at Ecological Management & Restoration.

26 April 2015: Just published: Microhabitat influences rodent foraging in recently burnt but not long unburnt shrublands. Read more at Journal of Mammalogy.

12 April 2015: We’ve just returned from a very successful field course Techniques in Wildlife Conservation at Charles Darwin Reserve. With a keen group of participants, we undertook pitfall trapping, camera trapping, and inspected some nesting mounds of the threatened malleefowl. Overcast weather and a bit of rain dampened our capture rates of reptiles, but we captured a lot of small mammals, such as the Little Long-tailed Dunnart Sminthopsis dolichura, which suggests it’s been a good season for these little critters.

23 March 2015: An article on our recent cat habitat selection paper can be found on the Science Network WA website: Field tests needed to help control feral cats.

20 March 2015: we are pleased to confirm support from Roy Hill mining for honours student Melinda Henderson to examine the impact of rail corridors and roads on Northern Quolls, in partnership with the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

17 March 2015: Rob is running a short course on techniques in wildlife surveys in 2 weeks. It will include bird banding and a trip to Charles Darwin Reserve to run some of our pitfall traps.

26 Feb 2015: Our fire ecology research with Bush Heritage has been featured at Science Network WA. Check it out here: Unburnt habitat needed to safeguard animal diversity

5 Feb 2015: Paul and Rob are in Palau, Micronesia scoping out sites for our research on the impacts of climate change and invasive rats on endangered island birds.

3 Feb 2015: Our paper on feral cat diet is free to download at Journal of Biogeography for the next seven days!

3 Feb 2015: The Conversation: Feral feast: cats kill hundreds of Australian animals

3 Feb 2015: The Guardian: Feral cats more likely to prey on native animals if rabbit numbers reduced

3 Feb 2015: The Australian: Possums in the sights when bunnies get bumped

2 Feb 2015: Our fire ecology paper on mammals and reptiles is now online at International Journal of Wildland Fire.

20 Dec 2014: Our research group is featured in the Ecological Society of Australia’s latest ‘Labs in the Limelight’ feature. Check it out here: Labs in the Limelight

4 Dec 2014: Congratulations to Tim Doherty: just accepted in Journal of Biogeography, is our latest lab research on continental-scale trends in feral cat diet. Stay tuned to our publications page or twitter feed for updates.

1 Dec 2014: Melinda Henderson will be joining the lab in 2015 to undertake an honours project under our ongoing Northern Quoll research theme. She hopes to examine spatial ecology and den site use in Northern Quolls, in conjunction with our collaborators at DPaW.

28 Nov 2014: We will be welcoming Mike Lohr into the lab in 2015. Mike has been working with the Dept. Parks and Wildlife and bring a wealth of ornithological knowledge to his proposed study on owls.

24 Nov 2014: Just accepted into the International Journal of Wildland Fire, is our long-running wildlife lab work on fire impacts on reptiles and mammals at Bush Heritage’s Charles Darwin Reserve. Check out the publications tab for details.

10 Oct 2014: Our new PhD student, Paul Radley, has just joined us to start work on the endangered Micronesian megapode on Palau. Paul has spent nearly 8 years working as an ornithologist in the Marianas Islands.

23 Oct 2014: Another paper just accepted! Doherty, T., Davis, R. and van Etten, E. (2014). A game of cat-and-mouse: microhabitat influences rodent foraging in recently burnt, but not long unburnt shrublands. Journal of Mammalogy. More soon.

18 Oct 2014: Tim Doherty’s paper has just been accepted in Wildlife Research. Look out for it soon: Doherty, T., Bengsen, A., Davis, R.A. (2014). A critical review of feral cat habitat use and key directions for future research and management. Wildlife Research.

17 Oct 2014: Tim has had an opinion pieced published at The Conversation titled “To eradicate feral cats, we need to know how many are out there“.

1 Oct 2014: Dr Shaun Molloy has commenced back in the lab as a postdoc working on our collaborative Northern Quoll project alongside the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

22-31 Aug 2014: Rob presented the results of the lab’s research on shorebird use of saltworks, with Dr Sora Estrella at the International Ornithological Congress in Tokyo. Rob also visited Hiroshima where he collaborated with Dr Yuki Taguchi on Japanese Giant Salamander research.

21 July 2014: Rob has just returned from a fantastic 2 weeks at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in Virginia, USA where he accompanied 10 undergraduate students on a “Techniques in Wildlife Conservation” course. Tim has returned from the Australian Mammal Society conference where he presented a talk on his PhD research.

4 June 2014: Tim Doherty has returned from the Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference where he presented a poster on feral cat habitat selection. Many connections were made and it was a great opportunity to hear what is happening around Australia, in this exciting field.

21 May 2014: Congratulations today to Dr Shaun Molloy! Shaun’s journey as the Wildlife Lab’s first PhD student is complete as he was officially notified of his thesis being passed today. Well done Shaun.

In other big news, we have just received an ECU industry collaboration grant to work with the Department of Parks and Wildlife on Northern Quolls. Shaun will be rejoining the lab as a postdoc to apply his modelling skills to Northern Quolls. More to come on this exciting project.

7 May 2014: The wildlife lab is gearing up to present it’s research at several conferences this year. Tim Doherty will be presenting at the Australian Mammal Society conference, Ecological Society of Australia and the Australian Vertebrate Pest Management Conference. Rob Davis and Sora Estrella will both be presenting on the lab’s shorebird work at the International Ornithological Congress in Japan in August.

18 March 2014: Rob Davis, ECU Wildlife Lab leader will be on ABC TV News tonight talking about the impacts of dieback on Banksia woodland birds (based on our recent paper in Biological Conservation).

For those that missed it you can catch the video feed of the ABC story here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-18/dieback-seriously-affecting-birds/5329832?section=wa

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