Journal article

Comparing the thermal suitability of nest-boxes and tree-hollows for the conservation-management of arboreal marsupials

Jessica A Rowland, Natalie J Briscoe, Kathrine A Handasyde

Biological Conservation | Elsevier | Published : 2017


Hundreds of species rely on tree-hollows for shelter and breeding, however land-clearing has reduced their availability worldwide. While nest-boxes are deployed extensively in hollow-deficient habitats, their thermal value for arboreal marsupials compared to tree-hollows is unclear, particularly in temperate environments. We analysed thermal regimes in nest-box and tree-hollow pairs during summer and winter environmental conditions. Using a biophysical model, we quantified the relative suitability of den-sites for several marsupial species, estimating the impact of microclimates (and ambient conditions) on predicted heat-production and heat-loss. Nest-box temperatures were strongly influence..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank landowners for kindly allowing us access to their properties, and several field volunteers, particularly Susan Pepper, Peter Rowland, and Monique Winterhoff. We thank Museum Victoria for providing specimens, and Michael Kearney and John Baumgartner for providing an R version of the biophysical model. This research was approved by The University of Melbourne Science Animal Ethics Committee, and conducted under a permit from the Department of Environment & Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia. NJB was supported by NERP Environmental Decisions Hub and NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub.