Desert Ecology Plot Network: Mammal Abundance Plot-data, Simpson Desert, Western Queensland, 1990-2018

Abstract: This mammal abundance trap data package comprises capture data for a specified duration of trapping nights (usually 3 night session) in the Simpson Desert, Western Queensland between 1990 and 2018. Captured mammal fauna were identified and recaptures during the same session were removed (i.e. individuals were only counted once). Date, site and grid number were recorded for all captures, and captured animals were also marked by a unique ear notch prior to their release to identify recaptures. The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are sampled every April-May. The trapping survey aims to quantitatively track long-term shifts in biodiversity and ecological processes in relation to key drivers, including unpredictable rainfall and droughts, fire, feral predators and grazing. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Desert Ecology's full program is provided at http://doi.org/10.25911/5c13171d944fe Sampling methods: The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are spaced at least 15 km apart, each comprising two 1-ha trapping grids, or plots which are spaced between 0.5-2 km apart. Thirty-six traps were arrayed in a grid covering 1 ha; each grid comprised 6 lines of 6 traps spaced 20 m apart. The top line of traps extended along the dune crest where consecutive numbering starts, and finished along the sixth line 100 m distant in the dune valley or ‘swale’. Traps on each grid were opened for 3 nights once per year and checked in the mornings and sometimes afternoons. The core of 12 sites are sampled every April-May, however in 2012 there was not a complete survey, and so there are only 2 (Field River South and Main Camp) sites represented in this table. Other elements of the plot network’s full program share the sampling structure and core sites/plot/grid configuration of the study design. Study extent: The network program uses a core of 12 sites, sampled every April-May, however in 2012 there was not a complete survey - only 2 (Field River South and Main Camp) sites are represented in this table for that year. Note Dasycercus cristicauda should be D. blythi, however the former name is used in these data for consistency with previous data packages. Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN). This work was supported by the Australian Government’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (www.tern.org.au) – an Australian research infrastructure facility established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and Education Infrastructure Fund–Super Science Initiative through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
Type
collection
Title
Desert Ecology Plot Network: Mammal Abundance Plot-data, Simpson Desert, Western Queensland, 1990-2018
Alternate Title
Desert Ecology Research Group Plot Network: Mammal Abundance, 1990-2018
Collection Type
Dataset
Access Privileges
Long Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
10.25911/5c108fd44f2e2
Metadata Language
English
Data Language
English
Brief Description
This mammal abundance trap data package comprises capture data for a specified duration of trapping nights (usually 3 night session) in the Simpson Desert, Western Queensland between 1990 and 2018. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Desert Ecology's full program is provided at http://doi.org/10.25911/5c13171d944fe
Full Description
Abstract: This mammal abundance trap data package comprises capture data for a specified duration of trapping nights (usually 3 night session) in the Simpson Desert, Western Queensland between 1990 and 2018. Captured mammal fauna were identified and recaptures during the same session were removed (i.e. individuals were only counted once). Date, site and grid number were recorded for all captures, and captured animals were also marked by a unique ear notch prior to their release to identify recaptures. The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are sampled every April-May. The trapping survey aims to quantitatively track long-term shifts in biodiversity and ecological processes in relation to key drivers, including unpredictable rainfall and droughts, fire, feral predators and grazing. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Desert Ecology's full program is provided at http://doi.org/10.25911/5c13171d944fe Sampling methods: The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are spaced at least 15 km apart, each comprising two 1-ha trapping grids, or plots which are spaced between 0.5-2 km apart. Thirty-six traps were arrayed in a grid covering 1 ha; each grid comprised 6 lines of 6 traps spaced 20 m apart. The top line of traps extended along the dune crest where consecutive numbering starts, and finished along the sixth line 100 m distant in the dune valley or ‘swale’. Traps on each grid were opened for 3 nights once per year and checked in the mornings and sometimes afternoons. The core of 12 sites are sampled every April-May, however in 2012 there was not a complete survey, and so there are only 2 (Field River South and Main Camp) sites represented in this table. Other elements of the plot network’s full program share the sampling structure and core sites/plot/grid configuration of the study design. Study extent: The network program uses a core of 12 sites, sampled every April-May, however in 2012 there was not a complete survey - only 2 (Field River South and Main Camp) sites are represented in this table for that year. Note Dasycercus cristicauda should be D. blythi, however the former name is used in these data for consistency with previous data packages. Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN). This work was supported by the Australian Government’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (www.tern.org.au) – an Australian research infrastructure facility established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and Education Infrastructure Fund–Super Science Initiative through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
Methods
1
Plot setup
The network program uses 12 sites which are spaced at least 15 km apart, each comprising at least two 1-ha trapping grids, or plots which are spaced between 0.5-2 km apart. Additional grids have been used at some of the sites. Trapping grids are set out with thirty-six traps arrayed in a grid covering 1 ha; each grid comprises 6 lines of 6 traps spaced 20 m apart. The top line of traps extends along the dune crest, where consecutive numbering starts, and finishes along the sixth line 100 m distant in the dune valley or ‘swale’. Traps on each grid are opened for 1–6 nights (usually 3) at an annual sampling interval (usually each April) and checked in the mornings and sometimes afternoons, and animals are removed for processing.
2
Pitfall trap setup
Mammal fauna are captured in pitfall traps. Each pitfall is made from PVC stormwater pipe, 160 mm in diameter and 600 mm deep, sunk vertically into the ground so that its top is flush with ground level. To increase trap success, by intercepting and guiding surface-active animals into the trap, a drift fence of aluminium wire mesh (flyscreen) extends outwards from the top of each trap, secured in place by means of a shallow trench. The fence is 30 cm high and runs for 2.5 m on each side of the pitfall opening. The bottom end of the pit is covered with flyscreen to form a floor to prevent captured animals from digging their way out, and all pits are capped with metal lids when not in use. A tiny amount of insecticide (Coopex) is sprinkled around each trap to prevent ant attack.
• Pitfalls must be dug into the ground, so that the lip of the pipe is level to the ground, this can be done using a shovel. Wire mesh drift fence is bent at about 10 cm to form an L-shape and dug into the ground and pulled straight and upright.
• Open all 36 pits using a spoon or pocket screwdriver
• Make sure the mesh is directly over the open pit and there is no a lip as reptiles can use it as a bridge over the pit and don’t get caught.
• Empty out excess sand from all pits .
• Sprinkle Coopex around the edge of each pit to deter ants.
• Check pitfall traps in the cool of the early morning to reduce stress on the animal.
• Thoroughly check each pitfall, first by visually ensuring that there is not a snake or other venomous animal inside the pit. Once certain that it is safe, cover hand with calico trapping bag and stick arm down pit and feel around for any mammals or reptiles, carefully sift through the sand as Leristas and other small lizards are hard to see. Leather gloves can be worn for extra protection against bites and scratches.
• Remove any invertebrates from the pit, such as scorpions and centipedes and release at point of capture.
• Be careful when removing animals from pitfalls, do not grab any animal by the tail. Place bag over animal and invert it inside pit to safely secure animal.
• Place each animal in a separate calico bag and tie the top tightly to avoid escapes. Write trap and grid number on bag with permanent marker to ensure animal can be relased at point of capture after processing. Store the animals in large calico bag.
• Once all traps are checked, animals are processed on site and released at point of capture.
• At the end of the trapping survey (on the third day), place metal lids firmly on pitfall trap and ensure lid sits tight. Cover lid with a bit of sand to reduce exposure to sunlight and curious animals
Pitfall traps capped with metal
PVC stormwater pipe, 160 mm in diameter and 600 mm deep
drift fence of aluminium wire mesh (flyscreen) 30 cm x 2.5 m
3
Data collection and capture marking
Date, site and grid number were recorded for all captures, and captured animals were also marked with unique ID numbers allowing identification of recaptured animals (related data packages contain data relating to morphometric observations, along with unique ID numbers). Ear samples are retained in ethanol as DNA samples. Any scats that are produced by animals during handling, or while they are in handling-bags, are kept in separately labelled vials for later analysis of their diet.
4
Release
Date, site and grid number were recorded for all captures, and captured animals were also marked with unique ID numbers by ear notching prior to their release, allowing identification of recaptured animals.
5
Trip Report
After every field trip, a ‘trip report’ is written to document the activities, and events in the survey. The trip reports can be found at http://www.desertecology.edu.au/
Total number of captures over the survey trip were noted, and then this was standardised for unequal trapping effort. Dividing by the product of number of traps opened and the number of nights traps were opened.
File Descriptions
derg_small_mammal_trapping_data_1990+_p901t1206.csv
Total captures over number of nights specified in nights column. If there were nil captures on a grid, the record grid is recorded (in the trap column), and 'No captures' is recorded in the fauna_descriptor column.ratio number typewholeratio standard unitnumbercaptures_100tn
definitionCaptures standardised for unequal trapping effort. captures/100 trap nights = captures/(number pitfalls (usually 36)*nights opened (usually 3))*100
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitnumber
family
definitionMammal family
nominal text definitionCharacter
month_year
date time formatMmm.YY
definitionMonth and year of survey identifier
nights
definitionNumber of nights plot is open
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
no_traps
definitionNumber of traps opened per plot (<= 36)
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
number of records3976recapt_same_trip
definitionShould be NA. NA means new animal i.e. Not a recapture on the same sampling period
nominal text definitionCharacter
site_code
definitionSite level code
nominal text definitionCharacter
site_grid
definitionSite and trapping grid code
nominal text definitionCharacter
site_name
definitionName of site
nominal text definitionCharacter
species
definitionSpecies caught (species name - binomial). If no captures were recorded on a grid then the words “No Captures” are entered in “species” and SiteGrid is recorded
nominal text definitionCharacter
total_trap_nights
definitionNumber of nights grids were opened x number of traps
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
trip_no
definitionArbitrary trip identifier
ordinal text definitionCharacter
year
date time formatYYYY
definitionYear of survey
Contact Email
glenda.wardle@sydney.edu.au; chris.dickman@sydney.edu.au; aaron.greenvile@sydney.edu.au; bobby.tamayo@sydney.edu.au
Contact Address
University of Sydney Heydon-Laurence Building A08 Sydney, NSW, 2006 Australia
Contact Phone Number
+61 2 9351 7113; +61 2 9351 2318; +61 2 9351 8577; +61 2 9351 8577; +61 425 382 205; +61 420 526 801
Principal Investigator
Glenda Wardle
Supervisors
Chris Dickman
Collaborators
Aaron Greenville; Bobby Tamayo
Fields of Research
0501 - Ecological Applications; 0602 - Ecology; 0608 - Zoology
Keywords
GCMD:Earth Science > Biological Classification > Animals/Vertebrates > Mammals; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Mammals; keyword:Mammals; Desert Ecology Research Group; Mammal Abundance
Type of Research Activity
Strategic basic research
Date Coverage
1990
2018
Geospatial Location
text
Simpson Desert, Western Queensland, Australia
iso19139dcmiBox
northlimit = -23.20549; southlimit = -23.99417; westlimit = 137.86511; eastLimit = 138.6059
Date of data creation
2018-10-22
Year of data publication
2018
Creator(s) for Citation
Glenda
Wardle
Chris
Dickman
Aaron
Greenville
Bobby
Tamayo
Publisher for Citation
Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), ANU Data Commons, The Australian National University
Related Websites
http://hdl.handle.net/1885/130861
ANU Open Research, Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) collection.
Other Related Identifiers
MorphoId:ltern6.196; PackageId:901
Access Rights Type
Open
Rights held in and over the data
Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-Attribution) is assigned to this data. Details of the licence can be found a https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Licence Type
CC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
Licence
LTERN Deed: 24 and 25 Date of execution: 2015-05-28
Retention Period
Indefinitely
Data Management Plan
No
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National University
  • Australian National Data Service
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