Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 9 July 2021
Applicant: Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania
Species/Taxon: Mammals, Birds, Invertebrates
Location: Cartwright Reserve, Bicentennial Park, Mt Nelson Signal Station Researve.
Title of research: Fauna survey for UTas ‘Fauna of Tasmania’ class
Aim of project:
To give 3rd year University students experience in passive methods to survey fauna, and to provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in data analysis. The activity will test for differences in animal communities in adjacent wet and dry forest.
This activity will provide students will opportunities to increase their understanding of local fauna and to develop skills associated with field surveys.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: (if impossible to estimate, indicate effort e.g. number of traps to be used and how long to be set)
Effort: 18 camera traps, 18 pitfall traps, and 18 timed bird surveys.
Activities undertaken and methods:
Camera trapping: ‘Swift’ brand cameras (18 in total) will be deployed in forested habitat (9 in wet forest, 9 in dry forest). A scented lure (e.g., fish oil) will be poured on the ground in front of the camera, to attract animals into the camera’s field of view.
Pitfall trapping (18 traps in total): For each trap, an open 500 mL specimen vial will be dug into the ground, and leaf litter will be places around the opening. A plastic exclusion mesh (cell size = 2.5 cm) will be placed around the trap, to prevent birds and small mammals from interfering with trap. A plastic picnic plate will also be affixed above the vial using kebab sticks to direct rainwater away from the vial. 100 mL of food-grade propylene glycol will be added to each via as a preservative for invertebrates that fall in.
Bird survey: students will sit at 18 sites and record all bird species they see and hear within 25 m of their position, for 5 minutes.
Fate of animals:
Invertebrates will be euthanised in the pitfall trap solution.
No other animals will be disturbed.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch):
The likely impact on litter invertebrate species is minor, given the small number of traps and the ubiquity of this habitat in the study region. The plastic exclusion mesh reduces the chance of any impacts on larger, non-target organisms.