Novel resources for threatened fauna in urban environments

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Urban areas present both challenges and opportunities for threatened fauna.
Although urbanization is a major threatening process for most native wildlife, a growing number of species are able to persist in urban environments, utilizing novel resources provided by the changed biophysical settings to meet their resource requirements. We explore how threatened fauna in Australian cities utilize novel resources. In particular, we explore examples where novel resources are used 1) as analogue for native resources; and 2) as additional non-analogue resources that help to mediate the effects of habitat change. The Carnaby’s black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) are two examples of endangered species that utilise non-native plants as important food (introduced pine) and shelter (blackberry) resources, respectively. The golden sun-moth (Synemon plana) is another example of a critically endangered species that utilizes an invasive non-native plant (Chilean needle grass) as a supplementary food source in peri-urban areas where native grasslands have been cleared.
Conservation planning and management of threatened fauna should recognize the importance for species conservation (within cities and beyond their boundaries) of identified altered ecological interactions involving novel resources available in urban areas. Recognition of the importance of these resources requires an overall adjustment to the ecological stewardship approaches shared among multiple stakeholders, and ultimately needs to be incorporated in the management practices, and at urban planning
and policy level. Yet, to tap into these potential opportunities for wildlife conservation, several challenging questions need to be addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016
EventUntaming the Urban - Australian National University, Canberra
Duration: 7 Dec 20169 Dec 2016


ConferenceUntaming the Urban
Internet address

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