Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for
a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 28 November.
Applicant: School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University.
Species/Taxon: Coleoptera (beetles) excluding any threatened taxa and with a focus on ground beetles (Family: Carabidae).
Location: Land reserved under the Nature Conservation Act 2002
Title of research: Phylogeny of Tasmania's ground beetles (Carabidae).
Aim of project: This project is a part of a global research program that seeks to contribute to the development of our knowledge regarding the biogeography and evolutionary history of ground beetles (Carabidae). This project specifically focuses on developing knowledge regarding Tasmania's distinctive ground beetle fauna. The ground beetle fauna of Tasmania includes many species and genera that are found nowhere else and even unique lineages (groups of genera) that are restricted in distribution in a global context.
Justification: In order to understand the development of life of Earth scientists are increasingly utilising genetic research in order to assess relationships of species, genera, and larger groups. In order to assess relationships and the evolution of diversity, two things are required: quality DNA (from recently collected specimens) and a range of specimens to assess morphological variation. For this project specimens need to be collected for both these purposes. Given many species type (original) localities and ranges are dominantly found in higher elevation National Parks, we will need to collect in these locations.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: Up to 10 individuals of a specific taxon, from a specific locality. Target species include approximately 80-100 species although we are unlikely to encounter all of these.
Activities undertaken and methods: Beetles will principally be collected by hand or by litter extraction which involves sifting leaf litter to concentrate the small invertebrates.
Fate of animals: Specimens will be photographed, when possible, preserved dry, or in ethanol/RNAlater for later genetic analysis, held in research collections until completion of the study, when voucher specimens will be deposited in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Given the small number of individuals of each species to be collected and the exceedingly small percentage of their range to be investigated, there will be very limited impact on the species. Most beetles, especially small ground beetles, occur in larger numbers at high densities across relatively wide ranges.