Journal article

Climate change drives habitat contraction of a nocturnal arboreal marsupial at its physiological limits

Benjamin Wagner, Patrick J Baker, Stephen B Stewart, Linda F Lumsden, Jenny L Nelson, Jemma K Cripps, Louise K Durkin, Michael P Scroggie, Craig R Nitschke

ECOSPHERE | WILEY | Published : 2020


Increasing impacts of climatic change and anthropogenic disturbances on natural ecosystems are leading to population declines or extinctions of many species worldwide. In Australia, recent climatic change has caused population declines in some native fauna. The projected increase in mean annual temperature by up to 4°C by the end of the 21st century is expected to exacerbate these trends. The greater glider (Petauroides volans), Australia’s largest gliding marsupial, is widely distributed along the eastern coast, but has recently experienced drastic declines in population numbers. Its association with hollow‐bearing trees, used for nesting, has made it an important species for the conservati..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Australian Research Council (LP140100580 to CN and PJB, FT120100715 to PJB). BW was also supported by the University of Melbourne through a Melbourne Research Scholarship. Additional funding was generously provided to BW through from the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, the Foundation for Parks and Wildlife, and the Norman Wettenhall Foundation. Data collection (2012-2017) was funded by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). CN was additionally funded through the Integrated Forest Ecosystem Research (IFER) program of DELWP. Lucas Bluff (DELWP) designed the 2015 East Gippsland surveys and carried out data collection with additional field assistance. We thank Lucas for his efforts and counsel and making his data available for this study. Field data collectors in 2012 for ARI included Ed McNabb (ARI staff) and contractors (Garry Cheers of G&B Cheers Flora & Fauna Consultants), Tamara Leitch, Aileen Collyer, Rolf Willig, and Jim Reside (Wildlife Unlimited). Luke Emerson assisted with the 2017 Strathbogie Ranges and Central Highlands surveys. We thank field data collectors Tim Willersdorf (Parks Victoria), Diego Torres, Anu Singh, Ella Starkey, Steve Livesley (University of Melbourne), Edouard Sorin, Tom Ennes, and Florian Bourrel for their efforts in the 2018/2019 East Gippsland surveys. We further acknowledge and thank Raphael Trouve and Anu Singh (University of Melbourne) for statistical and data analysis support. Finally, we would like to thank Natalie Briscoe (University of Melbourne), Ben Moore (Western Sydney University), Kara Youngentob (Australian National University), and Maria Cardoso (VicForests, Orbost) for advice and support. We want to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their thorough review of our research and the journal editors for helping in improving the quality of this manuscript. The authors have no competing interests to declare. Data were provided by co-authors and contributors to the project and used with their verbal or written permission. All authors conceived of the study. LL, JN, LD, JC, and MS designed and collected the field data for the ARI and DELWP studies with additional field assistance. BW and CN designed and collected field data for the 2018/2019 East Gippsland surveys with additional field assistance. SBS and CN provided data. BW analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript with contributions from CN and PJB. There are no conflicts of ethics to declare.