• Density trends and demographic signals uncover the long-term impact of transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils

      Lazenby, Billie T.; Tobler, Mathias W.; Brown, William E.; Hawkins, Clare E.; Hocking, Greg J.; Hume, Fiona; Huxtable, Stewart J.; Iles, Philip; Jones, Menna E.; Lawrence, Clare; et al. (2018)
      Monitoring the response of wild mammal populations to threatening processes is fundamental to effective conservation management. This is especially true for infectious diseases, which may have dynamic and therefore unpredictable interactions with their host....
    • Increasing generations in captivity is associated with increased vulnerability of Tasmanian devils to vehicle strike following release to the wild

      Grueber, Catherine E.; Reid-Wainscoat, Elizabeth E.; Fox, Samantha; Belov, Katherine; Shier, Debra M.; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Pemberton, David (2017)
      Captive breeding of threatened species, for release to the wild, is critical for conservation. This strategy, however, risks producing captive-raised animals with traits poorly suited to the wild. We describe the first study to characterise accumulated consequences of long-term captive breeding on behaviour, by following the release of Tasmanian devils to the wild. We test the impact of prolonged captive breeding on the probability that captive-raised animals are fatally struck by vehicles. Multiple generations of captive breeding increased the probability that individuals were fatally struck, a pattern that could not be explained by other confounding factors (e.g. age or release site). Our results imply that long-term captive breeding programs may produce animals that are naïve to the risks of the post-release environment. Our analyses have already induced changes in management policy of this endangered species, and serve as model of productive synergy between ecological monitoring and conservation strategy.
    • Use of scent ecology to improve reintroduction outcomes: applications for Tasmanian devils

      Shier, Debra M.; Reid-Wainscoat, Elizabeth E.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Fox, Samantha; Pemberton, David; Belov, Katherine (CSIROClayton South, Australia, 2019)