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ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
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Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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Event

Conservation and management of rock-dwelling reptiles in the Sydney region

When

10.00am, Tuesday 7 December 2010

location
ARC Centre of Excellence Conference Room room 114, Sir Gerorge Fisher Building (DB32)
Presenter
Dr. David Pike, University of Sydney

ABSTRACT:

Rocky habitats support high levels of biodiversity and endemism, but also are under severe threat from human activities, and thus active habitat management is necessary to maintain species assemblages. My talk will focus on the conservation and management of rock-dwelling reptiles in temperate regions, which rely on sun-exposed sandstone rocks throughout much of the year. Sun exposure causes these rocks to reach relatively high temperatures, allowing ectotherms thermoregulate even when ambient temperatures are quite low. The availability of these “hot rocks” in the landscape is limited, and has been reduced by three main processes: (1) vegetation overgrowth (shading), (2) human disturbance of rocks, and (3) illegal removal of rocks (“bushrock removal”). Because a reduction in the availability of rocks can negatively influence population sizes of rock-dwelling reptiles, understanding how these threats impact fauna is vital to designing effective conservation and management programmes. My talk will discuss the nature of these threats, their impacts on fauna, and how landscape-scale restoration efforts can help improve habitat quality for rock-dwelling species. I will focus on Australia’s most endangered snake, the broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides), and its main prey, velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii), but will reveal general conservation and management implications for a wide array of species inhabiting these systems.

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au