Victorian Alpine Plot Network (Burramys Population Surveys): Burramys Trapping Data, South-east Highlands, Australia, 1982-2017

Abstract: This package represents all data from Burramys trapping surveys within the Alpine Long Term Monitoring - Burramys Population Surveys project. The surveys began in 1982, and the most recent addition is from 2017. This data package contains data collected at a sub-set of the 481 long term monitoring plots which have been established in Australian Alps and in Tasmania. The sampling regime within the Victorian Network generally consists of multiple randomly positioned transects within sites, (rather than ‘plots’ sensu stricto), with each site, and/or transect geo-located. Point quadrats are taken at fixed intervals along each transect. The number of transects within sites, and sampling frequency varies from annual to decadal, depending on site and purpose. This general array of sampling transects, point quadrats along transects and floristic quadrats is consistent between grassland and snowpatch monitoring sites, although the number of transects and floristic quadrats needed to detect change in key variables (vegetation cover, bare ground, etc) at each site varies over time. There are also long-term monitoring sites in wetlands. The Victorian Alpine Plot Network research plots are revisited on a 2-10 years basis. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c11c3d283b0e. Study extent: These data are from the longest annually monitored Mountain Pygmy Possum site (site 100), there are other data from other sites that is collected opportunistically and with less rigour as this site. As such many of the data categories listed only have one entry relating to site 100 at Hotham also called Mt Higginbotham West 100. Many of the categories won’t apply to site 100 as they relate to data being collected from Mt Buller as part of a recovery and genetic rescue program being implemented there. 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
Victorian Alpine Plot Network (Burramys Population Surveys): Burramys Trapping Data, South-east Highlands, Australia, 1982-2017
Alternate Title
Victorian Alpine Plot Network: Burramys Trapping Data Burramys Population Survey, 1982-2017
Collection Type
Dataset
Access Privileges
Long Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
10.25911/5c3fede0713f6
Metadata Language
English
Data Language
English
Brief Description
This package represents all data from Burramys trapping surveys within the Alpine Long Term Monitoring - Burramys Population Surveys project. The surveys began in 1982, and the most recent addition is from 2017. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c11c3d283b0e.
Full Description
Abstract: This package represents all data from Burramys trapping surveys within the Alpine Long Term Monitoring - Burramys Population Surveys project. The surveys began in 1982, and the most recent addition is from 2017. This data package contains data collected at a sub-set of the 481 long term monitoring plots which have been established in Australian Alps and in Tasmania. The sampling regime within the Victorian Network generally consists of multiple randomly positioned transects within sites, (rather than ‘plots’ sensu stricto), with each site, and/or transect geo-located. Point quadrats are taken at fixed intervals along each transect. The number of transects within sites, and sampling frequency varies from annual to decadal, depending on site and purpose. This general array of sampling transects, point quadrats along transects and floristic quadrats is consistent between grassland and snowpatch monitoring sites, although the number of transects and floristic quadrats needed to detect change in key variables (vegetation cover, bare ground, etc) at each site varies over time. There are also long-term monitoring sites in wetlands. The Victorian Alpine Plot Network research plots are revisited on a 2-10 years basis. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c11c3d283b0e. Study extent: These data are from the longest annually monitored Mountain Pygmy Possum site (site 100), there are other data from other sites that is collected opportunistically and with less rigour as this site. As such many of the data categories listed only have one entry relating to site 100 at Hotham also called Mt Higginbotham West 100. Many of the categories won’t apply to site 100 as they relate to data being collected from Mt Buller as part of a recovery and genetic rescue program being implemented there. 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
Plot set-up
Systematic surveys for Burramys parvus commenced in Victoria in 1982, and the network of trapping sites has expanded since then. The standard trapping grid (0.25 ha), as described by Mansergh(1984) has been used throughout: 3 x 100 m lines 12.5 m apart with Elliot traps placed 5 m apart (= 60 traps) x 3 days = 180 trap-nights per standard visit. This standard site could be expanded spatially (more lines) or temporally (up to 5 days). More than 90 trapping sites have been established across the Victorian Alps and most have been visited more than once.
There have been three main locations where sites have been established:
Mt Hotham surrounds: Mt Higginbotham (4 sites, annually since 1982, >15 sites with > 3 visits); Mt Loch (3 sites visited 7 times since 1983); Mt Little Higginbotham (3 sites visited 6 times since 2004).
Bogong High Plains and surrounds: (Mt McKay annually/ bi-annually since 1995); Timms Spur (7 surveys since 1992), Bundarra scree (> 2 sites with 10 visits since 1984); Pretty Valley and Falls Creek surrounds (> 10 sites with at least 3 visits; see Heinze et al. (2004)).
Mt Buller: (4 sites visited annually since 1996; 7 sites with at least 3 visits), sampling times include both breeding and non-breeding seasons.
There are other so-called ‘non-successful areas’ (e.g. Mt Wombargo, Cobberras, Mt Stirling) where surveys have failed to detect populations of Burramys.
This package primarily contains data from West Higginbotham site 100 at Mt Hotham as it is the most rigorously sampled and longest term annually monitored Mountain Pygmy-possum (MPP) site. As such many of the data variables only have one entry relating to site 100 at Hotham also called Mt Higginbotham West 100. Also many of the variable won’t apply to site 100 as they relate to data being collected from Mt Buller as part of a recovery and genetic rescue program being implemented there.
Elliot traps
2
Data collection
Initially, trapping frequency was monthly trapping, but sample times have subsequently been targeted to the breeding season (Nov-Dec) since about 1987.
Three types of data are collected, athough this package only includes type 1.
1 = trapping data for each tagged (marked) individual capture (i.e. one row of data for each individual captured)
2 = summary trapping data where all individuals captured were tallied. This usually applies to unmarked animals other than MPP’s – there is one row of tallied data for each distinct species (i.e. rats, antechinus)
3 = summary site trapping data – occasionally some sites are trapped differently than normal (i.e. different number of arrangement of traps). This information is captured in each row.
At some sites hair samples (non-intrusive) for genetic analysis have been routinely collected since the early 1990s, but this data is not included in this package.
File Descriptions
vbps_burramys_population_survey_1982-2017_p823t1212.csv
age
definitionAge of animal Rule: Over time a juvenile can grow to become an adult, but an adult cannot change into a juvenile. If this happens then the data should be highlighted so it can be examined to see whether it is an error or whether there is some ambiguity over the individuals age.
ordinal enumeration codes
1adult
2juvenile
-2The age of the animal was not determined or recorded on that day (historically we have no record of how this differs from -9)
3sub-adult or intermediate
-9The age of the animal was not determined or recorded on that day (historically we have no record of how this differs from -2)
body_length
definitionBody length measured in millimetres. This variable was not measured at this site.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
common_name
definitionCommon name
nominal text definitionCharacter
date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionSurvey date
day
definitionDay of observation relative to date of survey (observations on the date of the survey have a day of 0)
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
descriptionBurramys population survey data since 1982
did_animal_re_tag
definitionHas the individual animal been retagged.
nominal enumeration codes
0The individual has not been retagged
1The individual has been retagged
-2This data was not collected
NAThe individual has not been retagged
ear_length
definitionEar length measured in millimetres. This variable was not measured at this site.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
foot_length
definitionFoot length measured in millimetres. This variable was not measured at this site.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
head_length
definitionHead length measured in millimetres. This variable was not measured at this site.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
is_new_animal_captured
definitionIs this the first time this animal is captured
nominal enumeration codes
0retrap (recaptured tagged animal)
1new (animal caught for the first time)
-2animal escaped before it could be determined if they had an ear tag or not
lactating_nipple_number
definitionThe number of lactating nipples on the animal (can be from 0 through to 10). Rule: 1. This data field is only applicable to marsupials or species 1, 3 & 5 Mountain Pygmy-possums can only have a maximum of 4, Dusky Antechinus a maximum of 8, and a maximum of 10 for the Agile Antechinus -1 means that it is not applicable. So many of the 3736 records are from males. -2 means that the number of lactating nipples (and possibly sex) of the animal was not determined or recorded on that day
ratio number typenatural
ratio standard unitnumber
line
definitionTransect line along which the animal was trapped. Sites typically consist of trapping grids where there are a number of transect lines along where traps are set. For example – at site 350 during trapping of 20-24/12/1996 there were 10 transect lines where traps were set as denoted by “1” through to “10” depending on what transect line the animal was caught on.
ordinal text definitionNumber
number of records4667
point
definitionPoint number along transect
ordinal text definitionNumber
possible_tags
definitionPossible original tags This data field applies to individuals that have a ripped ear and have clearly lost their original ear tag. An assumption is made that the individual fitted with a new ear tag is maintaining a home range therefore I have searched the trapping records for individuals that were previously trapped in that area. From that I have calculated a list of potential candidates. Where value is -1, this is not applicable.
nominal text definitionCharacter
pouch_young_number
definitionNumber of young in the pouch (can be from 0 through to 10). Rule: 1. This data field is only applicable to marsupials or species 1, 3 & 5 Mountain Pygmy-possums can only have a maximum of 4, Dusky Antechinus a maximum of 8, and a maximum of 10 for the Agile Antechinus
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
preferred_tag
definitionFrom the “possible original tags” this represents the tag that was chosen as the preferred option, based on the trapping history, providing the best match for the individual that has been retagged. Where value is -1, this is not applicable.
nominal text definitionCharacter
region
definitionRegion name
nominal text definitionCharacter
reproductive_condition
definitionReproductive condition of animal. The vast majority of records should be -2 or NA, but not all. This is because the data from site 100 is mainly recorded in spring when females have pouch young so the information is picked up in other columns. This variable is not applicable to males or other species/bycatch.
nominal enumeration codes
APAdvanced post lactating with no fat bulging in pouch, clean pouch
APLAdvanced post lactating with fat bulging in pouch
APLHAdvanced post lactating with half fat bulging in pouch
BLYBred last year but not this year yet (?), not pregnant
CPNPClean pouch, not pregnant
DLNDrying lactating nipples
GAdvanced pouch young with grey fur
JCPjuvenile condition with clean pouch
LMDOPLoose moist, dark skin blotches with orange fur in pouch, pregnant
LMDOPPPLoose moist, dark skin blotches with orange fur in pouch, probably pregnant
LMOPLoose moist orange fur in pouch
LMPLoose moist pouch
LNHMLactating nipples with half bulging milk
LNMLactating nipples with milk
LNNMLactating nipples with no milk
NPNot pregnant, dry pouch
NRNot recorded, escaped before examination
PPregnant
PLSNPost lactating with swollen nipples, recent wean with dry mammary glands
scientific_name
definitionScientific name
nominal text definitionCharacter
second_run_tag
definitionSecond run tags This data field denotes whether a tag number has been used multiple times. This scenario has come about because the tags have 4 digits and therefore a full set has a maximum of 9,999 individual numbers. Every 10-15 years a set of tags is exhausted and a new set of tags needs to be started 1 to 9,999.
nominal enumeration codes
1The tag number has been used multiple times and this is the first time it has appeared
-1Denotes that the tag number has not been subsequently used
2The tag number has been used multiple times and this is the second time it has appeared
-2Data was not collected.
3The tag number has been used multiple times and this is the third time it has appeared
Blank cellThe tag number has not been used multiple times or if it has the number was shared by different species
sex
definitionSex of animal
nominal enumeration codes
1female
2male
-2sex undetermined
site_name
definitionSite name
nominal text definitionCharacter
size_of_pouch_young
definitionLength (mm) of the pouch young. This data is only recorded for female Burramys parvus captures. Values of -1/-2 mean that the data is not applicable or not recorded.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
size_of_testes
definitionLength (mm) of the testes. This data is only recorded for male Burramys parvus captures. Values of -1/-2 mean that the data is not applicable or not recorded.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
species
definitionSpecies identifier
nominal enumeration codes
1Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus)
12Alpine She-oak Skink (Cyclodomorpus praealtus)
13Southern Water Skink (Eulamprus tympanum)
14Guthega Skink (Ergernia guthega)
15White-lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides)
2Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes)
21Southern Thornbill
22White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis)
3Dusky Antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii)
4Broad-toothed Rat (Mastocomys fuscus)
5Agile Antechinus (Antechinus agilis)
6House Mouse (Mus musculus)
tag
definitionUnique ear tag number (mark). Tags are a 4 digit number and letters although they can appear in a excel cell as 1, 2 or 3 digits if the first 1-3 digits were “0’s” (eg. 0017 will appear as 17). Tag numbers go up to 9999 so over time a particular tag number may be re-used; however there is usually at least a 5 year gap between the use of a tag number. Rule: 1. Animals sharing the same tag number but are different species or sexes are obviously different individuals. 2. A three year gap between the appearances of a tag number indicates the re-use of a tag number. >3 years is almost a certainty that the tag number is being re-used. 3. The commencement of the re-use of a tag number should be highlighted by “2” appearing in the “NEW/RE” data field (although this data field will need to be checked to ensure that “1” and “2” are consistently used to mean “new” or “retrap”, respectively.
nominal text definitionCharacter
tail_length
definitionTail length measured in millimetres. This variable was not measured at this site.
interval number typeinteger
interval standard unitmillimeter
total_trap_for_night
definitionTotal trapping effort (i.e. number of traps) for the site. Each site is made up of a number of transects (usually 8) which have 20 traps set along each transect. Therefore there are usually 160 traps set each night (160 trapnights) for 4-5 nights which completes a trip or trapping session.
ratio number typenatural
ratio standard unitnumber
weight
definitionWeight of the animal measured in grams. Rule: 1. Mountain Pygmy-possums do not weigh more than 90. Dusky Antechinus do not weigh more than 130. Agile Antechinus do not weigh more than 35. Rats can weigh up to 250. 2. Weights less than 10 grams are likely to be an error as traps are usually set in a way to not catch such tiny animals. -2 is used when the weight of the animal could not be accurately determined (e.g. in adverse weather)
ratio number typeinteger
ratio standard unitgram
Contact Email
belln@unimelb.edu.au; ary@unimelb.edu.au; r.woodward@unsw.edu.au; chwahren@gmail.com; james.camac@gmail.com; j.morgan@latrobe.edu.au
Contact Address
Bio21 Institute Departments of Genetics and Zoology University of Melbourne Melbourne, Vic., 3010 Australia
Contact Phone Number
+61 3 8344 2282; +61 2 9585 6051; +61 400 972 404; +61 3 9479 2226; +61 3 9479 1230; +61 428 810 214
Principal Investigator
Ary Hoffman
Supervisors
Ary Hoffman
Collaborators
John Morgan; La Trobe University; Warwick Papst; Henrick Wahren; Richard Williams; Renee Woodward
Fields of Research
0501 - Ecological Applications; 0502 - Environmental Science and Management; 0602 - Ecology; 0608 - Zoology
Keywords
GCMD:Earth Science > Biological Classification > Animals/Vertebrates > Mammals; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Mammals; keyword:Burramys parvus; keyword:Mountain Pygmy-possum; Victorian Alpine; Burramys Population Survey; Burramys Trapping Data
Type of Research Activity
Strategic basic research
Date Coverage
1982
2017
Geospatial Location
text
Mount Hotham, South-east Highlands, Victoria, Australia
iso19139dcmiBox
northlimit = -36.73575; southlimit = -37.49639; westlimit = 146.41728; eastLimit = 147.40598
Date of data creation
2018-10-25
Year of data publication
2018
Creator(s) for Citation
Ary
Hoffman
Dick
Williams
Henrick
Wahren
James
Camac
John
Morgan
Warwick
Papst
Publisher for Citation
Long Term Ecological Research Netwo (LTERN), ANU Data Commons, The Australian National University
Other Related Identifiers
MorphoId:ltern.327; PackageId:823
Access Rights Type
Open
Rights held in and over the data
Creative Commons Licence (CC BY) is assigned to this data. Details of the licence can be found at http://creativecommons.org.au/licences.
Licence Type
CC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
Licence
LTERN Deed: 7 Date of execution: 2016-10-10
Retention Period
Indefinitely
Data Management Plan
No
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National University
  • Australian National Data Service
Related items