Three Parks Savanna Fire-effects Plot Network (Fauna): Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring, Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, 1995–2011

Abstract: This Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring data package comprises data for a sub-sample of the 41 plots situated in Litchfield National Park. Terrestrial mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are sampled in a 50 x 50 m plot adjacent to each fire plot monitoring site (below). Each vertebrate plot is sampled every five years. Within each five yearly-interval plots are sampled in different months over a three-year period. Each individual plot is always sampled in the same month. The plots are assessed for fire occurrence at least annually by means of on-ground visits by ranger staff. This record is used, in conjunction with aerial surveys, to assess the reliability of the fire history which has been developed from satellite imagery. A photo record assembled for field visits to Kakadu National Park (and Nitmiluk National Park) visits spanning 1995-2004 has also been used to develop a practical field-based index of fire severity. The Three Parks Savanna Plot Network’s full program uses a total of 220 permanent monitoring plots established in the Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks which commenced in 1994-1995. The research is aimed at improving our understanding of impacts associated with imposed fire on vegetation structure, plant species and vertebrate fauna, in order to improve our knowledge and management of fire in tropical savanna landscapes. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Three Park Savanna's full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c35959d4530d Sampling method: Some of the species listed in the taxonomic coverage were by-catch (i.e. they were not recorded using the described collection protocols). The monitoring program was designed originally to sample vegetation. Its suitability for the monitoring of fauna was recognised at a later date. As a consequence, the monitoring of fauna generally has lagged behind the vegetation monitoring program. Sampling in Litchfield surveyed 40 of the 41 plots in 1995/96 and 2001, 37 sites in 2006 and 32 sites in 2011 Study extent: There were four terrestial vertebrate surveys conducted during this temporal range - 1995/1996, 2001/2002, 2006 and 2011. Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of, and funded through the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) a facility within the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.
Type
collection
Title
Three Parks Savanna Fire-effects Plot Network (Fauna): Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring, Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, 1995–2011
Alternate Title
Three Parks Savanna Fire-effects - Fauna Plot Network: Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Kakadu, Litchfield, Nitmiluk, 1995–2011
Collection Type
Dataset
Access Privileges
Long Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
10.25911/5c3ea79c3ea1c
Metadata Language
English
Data Language
English
Brief Description
This Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring data package comprises data for a sub-sample of the 41 plots situated in Litchfield National Park. Terrestrial mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are sampled in a 50 x 50 m plot adjacent to each fire plot monitoring site (below). Each vertebrate plot is sampled every five years. Within each five yearly-interval plots are sampled in different months over a three-year period. Each individual plot is always sampled in the same month. The plots are assessed for fire occurrence at least annually by means of on-ground visits by ranger staff. This record is used, in conjunction with aerial surveys, to assess the reliability of the fire history which has been developed from satellite imagery. A photo record assembled for field visits to Kakadu National Park (and Nitmiluk National Park) visits spanning 1995-2004 has also been used to develop a practical field-based index of fire severity. The Three Parks Savanna Plot Network’s full program uses a total of 220 permanent monitoring plots established in the Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks which commenced in 1994-1995. The research is aimed at improving our understanding of impacts associated with imposed fire on vegetation structure, plant species and vertebrate fauna, in order to improve our knowledge and management of fire in tropical savanna landscapes. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Three Park Savanna's full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c35959d4530d
Full Description
Abstract: This Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring data package comprises data for a sub-sample of the 41 plots situated in Litchfield National Park. Terrestrial mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are sampled in a 50 x 50 m plot adjacent to each fire plot monitoring site (below). Each vertebrate plot is sampled every five years. Within each five yearly-interval plots are sampled in different months over a three-year period. Each individual plot is always sampled in the same month. The plots are assessed for fire occurrence at least annually by means of on-ground visits by ranger staff. This record is used, in conjunction with aerial surveys, to assess the reliability of the fire history which has been developed from satellite imagery. A photo record assembled for field visits to Kakadu National Park (and Nitmiluk National Park) visits spanning 1995-2004 has also been used to develop a practical field-based index of fire severity. The Three Parks Savanna Plot Network’s full program uses a total of 220 permanent monitoring plots established in the Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks which commenced in 1994-1995. The research is aimed at improving our understanding of impacts associated with imposed fire on vegetation structure, plant species and vertebrate fauna, in order to improve our knowledge and management of fire in tropical savanna landscapes. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Three Park Savanna's full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c35959d4530d Sampling method: Some of the species listed in the taxonomic coverage were by-catch (i.e. they were not recorded using the described collection protocols). The monitoring program was designed originally to sample vegetation. Its suitability for the monitoring of fauna was recognised at a later date. As a consequence, the monitoring of fauna generally has lagged behind the vegetation monitoring program. Sampling in Litchfield surveyed 40 of the 41 plots in 1995/96 and 2001, 37 sites in 2006 and 32 sites in 2011 Study extent: There were four terrestial vertebrate surveys conducted during this temporal range - 1995/1996, 2001/2002, 2006 and 2011. Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of, and funded through the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) a facility within the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.
Methods
1
Set-up
Fauna survey sites (50x50 m) are set up adjacent (preferably to the left) of the fixed vegetation monitoring plots.
Cage traps = 4–6 (one on each corner of the trapping quadrat = 50 x 50 m, and additionally for helicopter surveys one in middle of two sides)
Elliott traps = 20/30 (vehicle surveys/helicopter surveys) evenly spaced around the perimeter
Pit falls = 3 (3 fences, 18 pegs, 3 buckets)
Funnels = two if possible and four extra pegs to secure them against one of the fences
2
Data collection
The fauna survey protocol comprises searches and trapping over a 72 hour period, including:
(i) eight “instantaneous” counts (predominantly in the early morning) of birds present in a 1 ha plot,
(ii) two nocturnal spotlighting searches each for 10-minutes of a 50 m x 50 m plot within the 1 ha plot, for frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals;
(iii) three 10-minute day-time searches for reptiles, frogs and mammals in the 50 m x 50 m plot;
(iv) an array of 20 Elliott traps (metal box traps 30 cm x 7 cm x 7 cm) and four cage traps (65 cm x 15 cm x 15 cm) evenly spaced along the perimeter of the 50 m x 50 m plot (mostly to sample small mammals), baited with a mixture of peanut butter, honey and oats, and checked early every morning; and
(v) two pitfall traps (20 L plastic buckets dug into the ground), with 8 m of 30 cm high flywire drift-line netting. For each species, an abundance value is calculated as the sum of all individuals captured or reported in searches.
Habitat assessment proforma x 1
Fauna summary sheet x 1
File Descriptions
tpsl_terrestrial_vertebrate_monitoring_p88t68.csv
abundance
definitionOccurrence count of the species
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
common_name
definitionCommon name
nominal text definitionCharacter
date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionThe survey date
full_name
definitionScientific name
nominal text definitionCharacter
id
definitionRecord identifier
nominal text definitionCharacter
number of records4698
round
definitionEach survey site has a date and year, and is surveyed every five years. Each of these 5-yearly rounds of sampling is a “round”.
ratio number typenatural
ratio standard unitnumber
site
definitionSite identifier
nominal text definitionCharacter
species_id
definitionIdentifier given to vertebrate species
nominal text definitionCharacter
survey
definitionThe park the survey was conducted in
nominal text definitionCharacter
survey_site
definitionIdentifier for the survey site
nominal text definitionCharacter
Contact Email
alaric.fisher@nt.gov.au
Contact Address
PO Box 496 Palmerston, Northern Territory, 0831 Australia
Contact Phone Number
+61 8 8995 5002; +61 478 404 546
Principal Investigator
Alaric Fisher
Supervisors
Alaric Fisher
Collaborators
Northern Territory Government Department of Land Resource Management; Graeme Gillespie; Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission; Jeremy Russell-Smith
Fields of Research
0501 - Ecological Applications; 0502 - Environmental Science and Management; 0602 - Ecology
Keywords
GCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Ecological Dynamics > Fire Ecology; GCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Terrestrial Ecosystems > Savannas; GCMD:Earth Science > Biological Classification > Animals/Vertebrates; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Fire; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Herpetofauna; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Birds; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Mammals; keyword:Fire effects; keyword:Terrestrial vertebrate sampling; keyword:Litchfield; keyword:Parks; keyword:Savanna; Three Parks Savanna Fire-effects - Fauna; Kakadu, Litchfield, Nitmiluk; Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring
Type of Research Activity
Strategic basic research
Date Coverage
1995
2011
Geospatial Location
text
Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
iso19139dcmiBox
northlimit = -13.038; southlimit = -13.52589; westlimit = 130.68445; eastLimit = 130.9701
Date of data creation
2015-06-10
Year of data publication
2015
Creator(s) for Citation
Alaric
Fisher
Publisher for Citation
The Australian National University Data Commons
Other Related Identifiers
MorphoId:ltern.97; PackageId:88
Access Rights
Special Conditions: Users are required to contact the data provider (Graeme Gillespie) to discuss use of these data, including collaboration or co-authorship where appropriate. Users are also required to seek permission from Northern Territory Government Department of Land Resource to discuss use of this data package.
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 at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Licence Type
CC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
Licence
LTERN Deed: 47 Date of execution: 2017-05-12 Restrictions: Data collected prior to 2012 is to be published as mediated, except where explicitly stated otherwise by the Data Provider.
Data Location
https://datacommons.anu.edu.au
Retention Period
Indefinitely
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National University
  • Australian National Data Service
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