NERP TE Project 3.4 Monitoring of key vertebrate species (CSIRO)

This project will implement monitoring programs for the endangered southern cassowary, Casuarisus casuarius, and the vulnerable spectacled flying-fox, Pteropus conspicillatus. Cassowary monitoring will be based on regular surveys to collect dung. DNA fingerprinting of the bird dung will provide data on cassowary abundance and distribution, the influence of habitat type and the structure and phylogeography of cassowary populations across the region. For spectacled flying-fox monthly surveys of all known spectacled flying-fox camps in the Wet Tropics Region will be conducted. Resulting data will be used to describe population distribution, population size and trends to build upon the long term database already established.

In the Wet Tropics two species are the focus of repeated demands for management, made to all levels of government, and are frequently the focus of bitter debates, often with financial and legal implications. These are the endangered southern cassowary, Casuarisus casuarius, and the vulnerable spectacled flying-fox, Pteropus conspicillatus. This project will improve the adequacy of the monitoring data being used for management decision making.

Principal Investigator
Westcott, David, Dr Ecosystem Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) david.westcott@csiro.au

Publications / Data