To compare the patterns of month-to-month camp-site use and P. conspicillatus population estimates over 23 months prior to Cyclone Larry, with the species’ use of camp-sites and documented population following the cyclone.
Type of Study:
For 6 months after Cyclone Larry, up to 90% of the pre-cyclone P. conspicillatus population (ca. 250 000) was unaccounted for across the region, but after November 2006, the number of P. conspicillatus built up at located camp-sites until a post-cyclone peak of 209 000 at the end of the study in March 2007, comparable with the population estimates in March 2005 and 2006. There is no evidence that the cyclone caused significant direct mortality among P. conspicillatus, although there may yet be longer-term and indirect effects on population size.
Tropical Cyclone Larry
We recommend a regular and large landscape-scale monitoring regime for threatened species such as P. conspicillatus in order to inform conservation and management policy. Our data, and data from other regular monitoring protocols of flying-foxes, are also important for understanding possible impacts of habitat disturbance events on recovery of damaged forest as flying-foxes are important vectors for plant pollination and seed dispersal.
Summary statistics (mean and SE, Product Moment and Partial Correlation coefficients)
Response variable :
Population counts and locations of spectacled flying-fox camps
Shilton, L. A., Latch, P. J., McKeown, A., Pert, P., Westcott, D. A. (2008) Landscape-scale redistribution of a highly mobile threatened species, Pteropus conspicillatus (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae), in response to Tropical Cyclone Larry. Austral Ecol. 33, 549–561.