Threatened Species Conservation

Organisms naturally select areas with appropriate abiotic and biotic conditions. Termed the ‘species ecological niche’. Individuals move within and between suitable niche patches, and hence the movement attributes of individuals are directly related to the geographic abundance and distribution of the species.

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Across Australia and the Globe, abiotic and biotic environmental conditions are changing due to human influence. These changes are resulting in an increased mortality and reduced fecundity for many species. The rate of population decline and retraction of geographical extent is so great for some species that they are listed internationally by the IUCN, and/or nationally under the EPBC Act 1999. Here at the MLE-Lab we are assessing the relationship between resource patch quality and the statistical properties of spatial movement for threatened species. Our objective is to target ‘Movement Ecology’ research towards gathering information that is more likely to change currently adopted conservation actions to maximise species persistence. 




Modern animal-borne telemetry devices are remarkable in their ability to illustrate how individuals interact with each other and the natural environment and reveal information about species habitat use, movement patterns, behaviour, physiology and the environment they inhabit.




We are currently researching the link between fire in the tropical savannas, its impact upon habitat quality, and the physiological condition and reproductive success of threatened species. Movement is the glue that ties all these ecological processes together.




Related Publications:

  1. Micheli-Campbell, M.A.Connell, M.J., Dwyer, R.G., Franklin, C.E., Fry, B., Kennard, M.J., Tao, J., Campbell, H.A. (2017). Identifying critical habitat for freshwater turtles: integrating long-term monitoring tools to enhance conservation and management. Biodiversity and Conservation 26(7): 1675-1688. [PDF]

  2. Lyon, B.J., Dwyer, R.G., Pillans, R.D., Campbell, H.A., Franklin, C.E. (2017). Distribution, seasonal movements and habitat utilisation of an endangered shark, Glyphis glyphis, from northern Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 573: 203-213.

  3. Roberts, D.T., Udyawer, V., Franklin, C.E., Dwyer, R.G., Campbell, H.A. (2017). Using an acoustic telemetry array to assess fish volumetric space use: a case study on impoundments, hypoxia and an air-breathing species (Neoceratodus forsteri). Marine and Freshwater Research 68(8):1532-1543. [PDF]

  4. McGowan, J., Beger, M., Lewison, R.L., Harcourt, R.,  Campbell, H.A., Priest, M., Dwyer, R.G., Lin, H.Y., Lentini, P., Dudgeon, C., McMahon, C., Watts, M., Possingham, H.P. (2016). Integrating research using animal-borne telemetry with the needs of conservation management. Journal of Applied Ecology 54(2): 423-429. [PDF]

  5. Campbell, H.A., Dwyer, R.G., Sullivan, S., Mead, D., Lauridsen, G. (2014). Chemical immobilisation and satellite tagging of free-living southern cassowaries. Australian Veterinary Journal 92(7): 240-245. [PDF]

  6. Campbell, H.A., Dwyer, R.G., Fitzgibbons, S., Klein, C.J., Lauridsen, G., McKeown, A., Olsson, A., Sullivan, S., Watts, M. E., Westcott, D.A. (2012). Prioritising the protection of habitat utilised by southern cassowaries Casuarius casuarius johnsonii. Endangered Species Research 17(1): 53-61. [PDF]