Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 29 April.
Applicant: University of Tasmania
Species/Taxon: Birds (mostly Forest Ravens but also other species, such as Black Currawongs), medium-to-large mammals, both native (macropods, wombats, etc.) and introduced (pigs, cats, rodents).
Location: Parks and Wildlife Service reserves, crown land and private land on King Island and Flinders Island. These places include (but not limited to) Strzelecki National Park, Patriarchs Conservation Area, Colliers Swamp and Lavinia State Reserve.
Title of research: Foraging effort of Forest Ravens (Corvus tasmanicus) on roadsides, farms and forests
Aim of project: In areas of high land-use change, ravens may modify their behaviour to favour roads for foraging where they find a reliable source of roadside carrion. This project aims to use camera traps to assess the scavenging efficacy and effort of Forest Ravens on carcasses found on roadsides, compared to those within agricultural areas and forests.
Justification: Land-use change on King Island appears to be beneficial for the Forest Raven due to increased food availability from roadkill and hunting of macropodids. Increases in raven abundance have reportedly led to the competitive exclusion of the vulnerable King Island Black Currawong. Therefore, understanding how the population dynamics of these species have shifted and how Forest Ravens forage in different habitats will direct wildlife management on the islands, such as guiding strategies to reduce roadkill abundance.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: It is anticipated that we will observe approximately 4000 individual animals over the duration of the study.
Activities undertaken and methods: Still or video imaging of wildlife using remote cameras with experimentally deployed carcasses on roadsides, and within agricultural areas and forests across King and Flinders Islands. Camera trap units, which are 13 × 10 cm in size, will be set up at 40 sites across both King and Flinders Island for four weeks. Pictures or videos will be recorded when animals trigger the camera sensor. We will document the time taken for ravens to discover the carcass and the persistence of the carcass in the environment.
Fate of animals: No animals will be handled, capture, or collected.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Little to no impact on the animals.