Three Parks Savanna Fire-effects Plot Network (Fauna): Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, 1996–2009

Typecollection
TitleThree Parks Savanna Fire-effects Plot Network (Fauna): Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, 1996–2009
Alternate TitleThree Parks Savanna Fire-effects - Fauna Plot Network: Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Kakadu, Litchfield, Nitmiluk, 1996–2009
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesLong Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.25911/5c3ea8e30e9d2
Metadata LanguageEnglish
Data LanguageEnglish
Brief DescriptionThis Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring data package comprises data for a sub-sample of the 133 plots situated in Kakadu 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 DescriptionAbstract: This Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring data package comprises data for a sub-sample of the 133 plots situated in Kakadu 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: The network program at Kakadu National Park uses a core of 133 sites to sample a range of landform and vegetation type / habitat conditions. 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. Where possible fauna survey sites are set up adjacent to the left-hand edge of the fire plots. In the case of creek line site, the fauna quadrat often needs to be upstream or downstream of the site.
Study extentThe monitoring program was designed originally to sample vegetation. Its applicability for the monitoring of fauna was recognised subsequently. As a consequence, the monitoring of fauna generally has lagged behind the vegetation monitoring program. Whereas all 133 monitoring plots in Kakadu have been sampled for vegetation four times over the period 1995-2009 (and the fifth resampling commenced April 2013), sampling for fauna has been far less substantial and regular: 15 of the Kakadu plots have been monitored for fauna four times, 121 plots three times, 39 plots only twice, and 6 plots have not been sampled at all.

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.

This project has also recieved funding through Parks Australia, NT Parks & Wildlife Service, Tropical Savannas CRC, and Darwin Centre for Bushfires Research (Charles Darwin University)
Methods

Number
1
Title
Set up
Description
Fauna survey sites (50x50 m) are set up adjacent (preferably to the left) of the fixed vegetation monitoring plots.
Instrument
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


Number
2
Title
Data collection
Description
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
(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.
Instrument
Habitat assessment proforma x 1
Fauna summary sheet x 1


File Descriptions

Name
tpsk_terrestrial_vertebrate_monitoring_p86t51.csv
Description

abundance
definitionOccurrence count of the species
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitnumber
common_name1
definitionCommon name
nominal text definitionCharacter
date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionThe survey date
id
definitionRecord identifier
ordinal text definitionNumber
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”.
interval number typenatural
interval standard unitnumber
site
definitionsite
nominal text definitionsite
species
definitionScientific name
nominal text definitionCharacter
speciesid
definitionIdentifier given to vertebrate species
nominal text definitionCharacter
survey
definitionThe park the survey was conducted in
nominal text definitionCharacter
surveysite
definitionIdentifier for the survey site
nominal text definitionCharacter


Contact Emailalaric.fisher@nt.gov.au
graeme.gillespie@nt.gov.au
Contact AddressPO Box 496
Palmerston, Northern Territory, 0831
Australia

Contact Phone Number+61 8 8995 5002
+61 478 404 546
+61 8 8995 5025
+61 429 091 783
Contact Fax Number+61 8 8995 5099
Principal InvestigatorAlaric Fisher
SupervisorsAlaric Fisher
CollaboratorsAustralian Government Parks Australia
Graeme Gillespie
Jeremy Russell-Smith
Fields of Research0501 - Ecological Applications
0502 - Environmental Science and Management
0602 - Ecology
KeywordsGCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Ecological Dynamics > Fire Ecology
GCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Terrestrial Ecosystems > Savannas
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Fire
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Herpetofauna
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Birds
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Mammals
keyword:Fire effects
keyword:Terrestrial vertebrate sampling
keyword:Kakadu
keyword:Parks
keyword:Savanna
Three Parks Savanna Fire-effects - Fauna
Kakadu, Litchfield, Nitmiluk
Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring
Type of Research ActivityStrategic basic research
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
19962009
Geospatial Location
Location TypeLocation Value
TextKakadu National Park, Northern Territory
DCMI Box notation conformant with iso 19139northlimit = -12.11059; southlimit = -13.94659; westlimit = 131.88766; eastLimit = 133.00257
Date of data creation2014-11-26
Year of data publication2014
Creator(s) for Citation
Given NameSurname
AlaricFisher
GraemeGillespie
Publisher for CitationThe Australian National University Data Commons
Other Related IdentifiersMorphoId:ltern.61
PackageId:86
Access RightsSpecial Conditions: Prior to publication of research utilising these data — the data provider must be consulted and provide consent.
Access Rights TypeOpen
Rights held in and over the dataLTERN 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.
Licence TypeCC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
Licencereative 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/
Data Locationhttps://datacommons.anu.edu.au
Retention PeriodIndefinitely
Data Management PlanNo
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National University
- Australian National Data Service
Identifier: anudc:5853
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