Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Treescape to moonscape: Mitigating the impact of plantation harvest on den use by threatened carnivores in Tasmania (#473)

Dydee Mann 1
  1. Forest Practices Authority, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Under state and federal legislation, threatened Tasmanian carnivore species Tasmanian devils, eastern quolls and spotted tailed quolls must be considered when planning forest practices throughout their ranges. Management for Tasmanian devils and quolls under the Forest practices system is delivered through prescriptions designed to protect the most valuable habitat for these species; potential denning habitat. In 2014 a Tasmanian devil den was discovered within a mature pine plantation during planning for harvest. The site was investigated and management prescriptions were designed to protect the site during the harvesting operation. Infra-red remote cameras were deployed to monitor the site before, during and after harvesting. Footage showed high mammal diversity before harvesting, and after four months post-harvest. What was initially recorded as a devil den was found to be used by different mammal species each spring following 2014. Footage confirms that the same individual devils, including females with pouch young, continued to visit the den site even after harvesting when all mature trees for hundreds of metres surrounding the site had been removed. Management prescriptions implemented to preserve denning habitat for Tasmanian devils has also benefited other threatened carnivore species. The results suggest that threatened carnivores can persist in plantation landscapes even when the habitat structure is vastly altered.