Rodents and small mammals

Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 10 May 2018.
University of Queensland / DPIPWE
The focus of this study is:
• Black rat (Rattus rattus)
• House mouse (Mus musculus)
Small mammal species recorded on Bruny Island that may potentially be detected in this study (as per Hamish Saunders Memorial Island Survey Report 2013):
• Swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus)
• Dusky antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii)
• Water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster)
• Long-tailed mouse (Pseudomys higginsi)
• Swamp rat (Rattus luttreolus)
• White-footed dunnart (Sminthopsis leucopus)
Location: Bruny Island – The Neck, Whalebone Point, South Bruny National Park
Title of research: Conservation benefits of feral cat management on Bruny Island
Sub-project:  Rodent abundance at key sites on Bruny Island and the relationship with cats and seabirds
Aim of project: To determine relative population estimates of rodent populations on Bruny Island, in the presence of cats and/or seabirds.
Justification: Feral cat management on Bruny Island is under investigation. The Bruny Island Cat Management Advisory Group is interested to determine how rodent populations are affected by the presence of cats on Bruny Island.  Rodents are also known predators of ground nesting birds, of which Bruny Island has many including, several threatened species.
Currently there is information on cats–seabird interactions at The Neck and Whalebone Point.  Based on previous work by the Invasive Species Branch and Parks and Wildlife Services, DPIPWE and others programs (Hamish Saunders Memorial Island Survey Report 2013) we aim to include Partridge and Courts Islands in this study. Understanding the relationship between rodents, cats and seabirds will help inform the management of feral cats and protection of seabirds on Bruny Island. Our data will directly inform the Bruny Island Cat Management program.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved:  Rodent population sizes are unknown on Bruny Island.  An estimated 200 rodents will access tracking tunnels for this investigation
Activities undertaken and methods:
Rodent populations will be estimated through non-invasive tracking tunnel methodologies, developed and widely used by the Department of Conservation, New Zealand and Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service (Macquarie Island). Rodents will run through a tracking tunnel crossing a non-toxic ink pad, and their footprints will be recorded on cards within the tunnel. 
Population indices can be estimated for each site. Remote, non-invasive camera traps will be deployed for each transect to ground truth species detections.
Fate of animals: Animals will return to normal behaviour and feeding during the experiment.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): No residual effects on breeding, behaviour or diet is likely for any rodents in this study.


Natural Values Conservation Branch
200 Collins Street
Phone: 03 6165 4401

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