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Remote forest refugia for Fijian wildlife

Olson, D. and Farley, L. and Naisilisili, W. and Raikabula, A. and Prasad, Om and Atherton, J. and Morley, Craig (2006) Remote forest refugia for Fijian wildlife. Conservation Biology, 20 (2). pp. 568-572. ISSN 0888-8892

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On Pacific islands non-native rats and mongooses threaten many native species. In Fiji we compared visitation rates of rats and mongooses at bait stations and measured biomass of leaf-litter invertebrates to assess the relative predation pressure from these species in forest areas at different distances from the forest edge. Forest areas over 5 km from the forest edge had significantly fewer baits encountered by rats or mongooses than did natural forest areas nearer agricultural and urban habitats. Remote forest areas may function as a last refuge for island species threatened by predation from non-native rats and mongooses. The biomass of leaf-litter invertebrates in remote forest areas was higher, indicating a refuge effect for some taxa targeted by rats and mongooses. Protection of the few remaining large blocks of natural forests on Pacific islands may be the most cost-effective approach for conserving many island endemics threatened by rats and mongooses. Logging roads can compromise this refuge effect by acting as dispersal routes for rats into natural forests.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2006 22:56
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2012 08:19

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