Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Using sensor cameras to inform management strategies for a rare macropodid, the spectacled hare-wallaby, on the Yawuru Indigenous Protected Area (#745)

Michael Wysong 1 , Johani Mamid 1 , Jacob Smith 1 , Eduardo Maher 1 , Vaughn Lee 1 , Pius Gregory 1 , Alex W. T. Watson 2
  1. Land and Sea Division, Nyamba Buru Yawuru, Broome, Western Australia, Australia
  2. World Wildlife Fund - Australia, Broome, Western Australia, Australia

The spectacled hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes conspicillatus) is a medium-sized macropodid whose range formally occupied half of the Australian continent. Today, however, the distribution of L. conspicillatus is extremely patchy. In particular, L. conspicillatus has suffered a substantial decline in the Kimberley region of Western Australia where it is now considered very rare.  As a specialist of dense tussock grasslands, L. conspicillatus is likely threatened by altered fire regimes and grazing by introduced livestock as well as by introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats. In 2014 and 2015, Yawuru Country Managers with the Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY) Land and Sea program together with WWF-Australia researchers conducted surveys for L. conspicillatus on the recently dedicated Yawuru Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). Prior to these surveys, L. conspicillatus had not been recorded for 9 years, with speculation they had become locally extinct. Although these 2014/2015 surveys confirmed the presence of L. conspicillatus, they could only answer limited questions relating to the occurrence and distribution of this species on the Yawuru IPA. The NBY Land and Sea program with assistance from WWF is currently conducting a more intensive survey for L. conspicillatus using a network of sensor cameras across the Yawuru IPA. These surveys are intended to answer more specific questions regarding the distribution of L. conspicillatus in relation to habitat characteristics, fire history, cattle grazing and the occurrence of invasive predators. The results of this survey will help inform management strategies to protect and recover populations of L. conspicillatus on the Yawuru IPA.