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Document Type

HC Access Only

Publication Date

2013

First Advisor

Dr. Sigrid Heise-Pavlov

Department

Biology

Abstract

Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) is a near-threatened species, endemic to the Wet Tropics of Australia, for which little validated knowledge of habitat requirements and precise distribution is available. This study focuses on mapping sighting records of this species in order to identify distribution patterns and how they relate to various topographic and climatic features. Based on these results, areas with similar habitat features have been identified, which may require future surveys for the presence of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos. Sighting data were compiled from a variety of sources, ranging from government databases, a local conservation group, and records from researchers and residents, and were projected onto a map of northeast Queensland using ArcGIS. Sightings were most numerous on the Atherton Tablelands, and within this region, in fragmented habitat of the northeastern Tablelands. Using a multivariate spatial regression, elevation, rainfall, and vegetation type were significantly correlated to sighting data, revealing that this species is most present in areas with elevations between 690 and 880 meters, annual rainfall of 2000 millimeters, and cleared land. Four major areas are recommended for future habitat surveys in order to continue updating the current distribution map, as well as to further study habitat requirements of this species. By expanding existing knowledge on the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo’s habitat, conservation needs can be more focused and accurately assessed, and employed efforts will be more efficient. This will ensure that suitable habitat can be appropriately protected to secure the species’ future.

Comments

For reading purposes only; do not cite.

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