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dc.contributor.authorFisher, Diana O
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Chris N
dc.contributor.authorLawes, Michael J
dc.contributor.authorFritz, Susanne A
dc.contributor.authorMcCallum, Hamish
dc.contributor.authorBlomberg, Simon P
dc.contributor.authorVanDerWal, Jeremy
dc.contributor.authorAbbott, Brett
dc.contributor.authorFrank, Anke
dc.contributor.authorLegge, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorLetnic, Mike
dc.contributor.authorThomas, Colette R
dc.contributor.authorFisher, Alaric
dc.contributor.authorGordon, Iain J
dc.contributor.authorKutt, Alex
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-03T15:37:44Z
dc.date.available2017-05-03T15:37:44Z
dc.date.issued2014
dc.date.modified2014-08-05T23:04:35Z
dc.identifier.issn1466-822X
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/geb.12088
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/61922
dc.description.abstractAim A third of all modern (after 1500) mammal extinctions (24/77) are Australian species. These extinctions have been restricted to southern Australia, predominantly in species of 'critical weight range' (35-5500?g) in drier climate zones. Introduced red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that prey on species in this range are often blamed. A new wave of declines is now affecting a globally significant proportion of marsupial species (19 species) in the fox-free northern tropics. We aim to test plausible causes of recent declines in range and determine if mechanisms differ between current tropical declines and past declines, which were in southern (non-tropical) regions. Location Australian continent Methods We used multiple regression and random forest models to analyse traits that were associated with declines in species range, and compare variables associated with past extinctions in the southern zones with current tropical (northern) declines. Results The same two key variables, body mass and habitat structure, were associated with proportion-of-decline in range throughout the continent, but the form of relationships differs with latitude. In the south, medium-sized species in open habitats of lower rainfall were most likely to decline. In the tropics, small species that occupy open vegetation with moderate rainfall (savanna) are now experiencing the most severe declines. Throughout the continent, large-bodied species and those in structurally complex habitats (rainforest) are secure. Main conclusions Our results indicate that there is no mid-sized 'critical weight range' in the north. Because foxes are absent from the tropics, we suggest that northern Australian marsupial declines are associated with predation by feral cats (Felis catus) exacerbated by reduced ground level vegetation in non-rainforest habitats. To test this, we recommend experiments to remove cats from some locations where tropical mammals are threatened. Our results show that comparative analysis can help to diagnose potential causes of multi-species decline.
dc.description.peerreviewedYes
dc.description.publicationstatusYes
dc.languageEnglish
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom
dc.relation.ispartofstudentpublicationN
dc.relation.ispartofpagefrom181
dc.relation.ispartofpageto190
dc.relation.ispartofissue2
dc.relation.ispartofjournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
dc.relation.ispartofvolume23
dc.rights.retentionY
dc.subject.fieldofresearchInvasive Species Ecology
dc.subject.fieldofresearchTerrestrial Ecology
dc.subject.fieldofresearchEcology
dc.subject.fieldofresearchEcological Applications
dc.subject.fieldofresearchPhysical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode050103
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode060208
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode0602
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode0501
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode0406
dc.titleThe current decline of tropical marsupials in Australia: is history repeating?
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Articles
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articles
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorMcCallum, Hamish


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