The impact of human activities on Australian wildlife

PloS One
Alyce Taylor-BrownGabriel C Conroy


Increasing human population size and the concomitant expansion of urbanisation significantly impact natural ecosystems and native fauna globally. Successful conservation management relies on precise information on the factors associated with wildlife population decline, which are challenging to acquire from natural populations. Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres (WRC) provide a rich source of this information. However, few researchers have conducted large-scale longitudinal studies, with most focussing on narrow taxonomic ranges, suggesting that WRC-associated data remains an underutilised resource, and may provide a fuller understanding of the anthropogenic threats facing native fauna. We analysed admissions and outcomes data from a WRC in Queensland, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, to determine the major factors driving admissions and morbidity of native animals in a region experiencing rapid and prolonged urban expansion. We studied 31,626 admissions of 83 different species of native birds, reptiles, amphibians, marsupials and eutherian mammals from 2006 to 2017. While marsupial admissions were highest (41.3%), admissions increased over time for all species and exhibited seasonal variation (highest in Spring to Summer), consis...Continue Reading


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