Journal article

Correlates of Recent Declines of Rodents in Northern and Southern Australia: Habitat Structure Is Critical

Michael J Lawes, Diana O Fisher, Chris N Johnson, Simon P Blomberg, Anke SK Frank, Susanne A Fritz, Hamish McCallum, Jeremy VanDerWal, Brett N Abbott, Sarah Legge, Mike Letnic, Colette R Thomas, Nikki Thurgate, Alaric Fisher, Iain J Gordon, Alex Kutt



Australia has experienced dramatic declines and extinctions of its native rodent species over the last 200 years, particularly in southern Australia. In the tropical savanna of northern Australia significant declines have occurred only in recent decades. The later onset of these declines suggests that the causes may differ from earlier declines in the south. We examine potential regional effects (northern versus southern Australia) on biological and ecological correlates of range decline in Australian rodents. We demonstrate that rodent declines have been greater in the south than in the tropical north, are strongly influenced by phylogeny, and are consistently greater for species inhabiting..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ARC

Awarded by ARC Linkage grant

Funding Acknowledgements

M.J.L., D.O.F., H.M., C.N.J., A.S.K.F. and M.L. were supported by ARC Fellowships and grants (LP100100033, DP0773920, FT110100191, DP110103069 and FT110100057). A.K. and C.R.T. were supported by funding from the CSIRO Building Resilient Australian Biodiversity Assets Theme. A.S.K.F. was supported by an ARC Linkage grant (LP100100033). S.A.F. was supported by the LOEWE funding programme of Hesse's Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts. I.J.G. was funded by the CSIRO Building Resilient Australian Biodiversity Assets Theme.