Publications by authors named "Russell Palmer"

3 Publications

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Does aerial baiting for controlling feral cats in a heterogeneous landscape confer benefits to a threatened native meso-predator?

PLoS One 2021 7;16(5):e0251304. Epub 2021 May 7.

Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Western Australia, Australia.

Introduced mammalian predators can have devastating impacts on recipient ecosystems and disrupt native predator-prey relationships. Feral cats (Felis catus) have been implicated in the decline and extinction of many Australian native species and developing effective and affordable methods to control them is a national priority. While there has been considerable progress in the lethal control of feral cats, effective management at landscape scales has proved challenging. Justification of the allocation of resources to feral cat control programs requires demonstration of the conservation benefit baiting provides to native species susceptible to cat predation. Here, we examined the effectiveness of a landscape-scale Eradicat® baiting program to protect threatened northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) from feral cat predation in a heterogeneous rocky landscape in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. We used camera traps and GPS collars fitted to feral cats to monitor changes in activity patterns of feral cats and northern quolls at a baited treatment site and unbaited reference site over four years. Feral cat populations appeared to be naturally sparse in our study area, and camera trap monitoring showed no significant effect of baiting on cat detections. However, mortality rates of collared feral cats ranged from 18-33% after baiting, indicating that the program was reducing cat numbers. Our study demonstrated that feral cat baiting had a positive effect on northern quoll populations, with evidence of range expansion at the treatment site. We suggest that the rugged rocky habitat preferred by northern quolls in the Pilbara buffered them to some extent from feral cat predation, and baiting was sufficient to demonstrate a positive effect in this relatively short-term project. A more strategic approach to feral cat management is likely to be required in the longer-term to maximise the efficacy of control programs and thereby improve the conservation outlook for susceptible threatened fauna.
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May 2021

Species delimitation in the Gehyra nana (Squamata: Gekkonidae) complex: cryptic and divergent morphological evolution in the Australian Monsoonal Tropics, with the description of four new species.

Zootaxa 2018 Apr 4;4403(2):201-244. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, 49 Kew Street, Welshpool, Western Australia, 6016, Australia.

Recent advances in molecular genetic techniques and increased fine scale sampling in the Australian Monsoonal Tropics (AMT) have provided new impetus to reassess species boundaries in the Gehyra nana species complex, a clade of small-bodied, saxicolous geckos which are widely distributed across northern Australia. A recent phylogenomic analysis revealed eight deeply divergent lineages that occur as a series of overlapping distributions across the AMT and which, as a whole, are paraphyletic with four previously described species. Several of these lineages currently included in G. nana are phenotypically distinct, while others are highly conservative morphologically. Here we use an integrated approach to explore species delimitation in this complex. We redefine G. nana as a widespread taxon with complex genetic structure across the Kimberley of Western Australia and Top End of the Northern Territory, including a lineage with mtDNA introgressed from the larger-bodied G. multiporosa. We describe four new species with more restricted distributions within the G. nana complex. The new species are phylogenetically divergent and morphologically diagnosable, and include the relatively cryptic G. paranana sp. nov. from the western Northern Territory, the large-bodied G. pseudopunctata sp. nov. from the southern Kimberley ranges, G. granulum sp. nov., a small-bodied form with granules on the proximal lamellae from the north-west and southern Kimberley ranges and the small-bodied G. pluraporosa sp. nov. restricted to the northern Kimberley. Our revision largely stabilises the taxonomy of the G. nana complex, although further analyses of species limits among the remaining mostly parapatric lineages of G. nana sensu stricto are warranted.
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Source Listing
April 2018

Conveyor belt care.

Russell Palmer

Nurs Stand 2008 Aug 13-19;22(49):61

University of Derby.

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October 2008