Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 24 June.
Applicant: University of Tasmania
Species/Taxon: Insects (leaf-litter insects, including Notolioon spp. and Hemiodoecus spp.).
Location: Wet forest and rainforest around Tasmania, including PWS reserves, TWWHA, private land, Wellington Park, FPPF's and foresty areas.
Title of research: Biogeography of Tasmania's leaf-litter dwelling beetle fauna
Aim of project: Investigate current distributions of leaf-litter dwelling communities (including beetles and true bugs) in Tasmania’s wet forest and rainforest areas.
Justification: Wet forests and rainforests containing endemic plant species such as Nothofagus also have an assosciated understudied invertebrate fauna containing many endemic species. By sampling with a standard sampling protocol, we can more accurately assess the differences in invertebrate communities between different areas of Tasmania. Many species found in these communities have been included in a few scientific papers or are undescribed.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: Likely thousands of individual insects and other invertebrates. Hundreds of them can be present in the litter if a 2m*2m quadrat. This sample size is needed to capture rarer species.
Activities undertaken and methods: Sieving leaf-litter (2m*2m) with a 6mm litter reducer, placing the sieved litter in a Berlese funnel for extraction into ethanol for analysis.
Fate of animals: A combination of DNA extraction (requiring destroying the individual) and preservation by pinning or wet in ethanol. Throughout the project we are working with Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) invertebrate curators to efficiently lodge the specimens after the project ends.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Realistically none, as the target invertebrates have larger population sizes and patchy distributions. By using a 6mm sieve, we will avoid collecting larger vertebrates.