Chris R. Pavey

Chris R. Pavey
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation | CSIRO · Land and Water

BSc (Hons), PhD

About

140
Publications
30,539
Reads
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2,640
Citations
Introduction
I am an ecologist passionate about understanding how organisms function in nature. I look at the adaptations of animals and plants and how they interact with the abiotic and biotic components of the environment. I am especially fascinated by predator-prey interactions and the co-evolution of species. From a management perspective I am strongly influenced by the need for land to be managed under multiple-use strategies and for the development of off-reserve conservation models.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Position
  • Senior Scientist & Research Goup Leader
July 2006 - December 2006
University of New England (Australia)
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2001 - December 2010
Northern Territory Government
Position
  • Research Scientist & Senior Research Scientist

Publications

Publications (140)
Article
Full-text available
In dry ecosystems, water supply is highly variable in time and space, occurring either as short pulses of shallow soil water or long phases of deep soil water. There may be correspondence between hierarchical soil water pulses and hierarchical biological responses, but this has not been directly tested for arid Australia. We compared plant communit...
Article
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Horseshoe (Rhinolphidae) and Old World leaf-nosed (Hipposideridae) bats are high duty cycle (HDC) echolocators sharing a suite of adaptations including long duration signals relative to their signal periods, peak energy concentrated in a narrow spectral band dominated by a constant frequency (CF) component, ‘auditory fovea’ (overrepresentation and...
Article
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Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite with a complex life cycle and a cosmopolitan host range. The asexual part of its life cycle can be perpetually sustained in a variety of intermediate hosts through a combination of carnivory and vertical transmission. However, T. gondii produces gametes only in felids after the predation of infected interme...
Article
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In environments driven by unpredictable resource pulses, populations of many consumer species experience dramatic fluctuations in abundance and spatial extent. Predator–prey relationships in these acyclic systems are poorly understood in particular with respect to the level of prey specialisation shown by nomadic predators. To understand the dynami...
Article
ContextIn central Queensland, Australia, the development of a coal-seam gas (CSG) industry is creating additional fragmentation of landscapes consisting of woodland and open forest that are already highly fragmented. AimsTo assess the response to fragmentation of Strophurus taenicauda (golden-tailed gecko). The species is ‘near threatened’ in Queen...
Article
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A clear understanding of a species’ diet is crucial in understanding its spatio-temporal dynamics, and is, therefore, pertinent to conservation considerations. The diet of the Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos), a rare and threatened predator endemic to the Australian arid and semi-arid zone, is subject to diverging assertions; therefore, we studied it...
Article
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Urban environments provide the only or best habitats that are left for wildlife in many areas, promoting increased interest in urban conservation and a need to understand how wildlife cope with urban stressors, such as altered predator activity and human disturbance. Here, we used filmed giving-up density experiments to investigate behavioral copin...
Article
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Wildlife are increasingly being found in urban habitats, and likely rely on some resources in suburban household yards, which exposes them to the effects of yard management and human and pet activities. We compared the relationships between these potential disturbances and benefits to the number of different types of wildlife sighted by householder...
Article
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Many large mammalian carnivores are facing population declines due to illegal killing (e.g., shooting) and habitat modification (e.g., livestock farming). Illegal killing occurs cryptically and hence is difficult to detect. However, reducing illegal killing requires a solid understanding of its magnitude and underlying drivers, while accounting for...
Article
Poaching is a global driver of wildlife population decline, including inside protected areas (PAs). Reducing poaching requires an understanding of its cryptic drivers and accurately quantifying poaching scales and intensity. There is little quantification of how poaching is affected by law enforcement intensity (e.g., ranger stations) versus econom...
Article
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Rapid learning in the young of most endothermic animals can be expected to be favoured by natural selection because early independence reduces the period of vulnerability. Cases of comparatively slow juvenile development continue, therefore, to attract scientific attention. In most species of birds, including raptors, the young depend on their pare...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity can impose additional stressors to wildlife, both directly and indirectly, including through the introduction of predators and influences on native predators. As urban and adjacent environments are becoming increasingly valuable habitat for wildlife, it is important to understand how susceptible taxa, like small prey animals, persist...
Technical Report
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The Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) Program is assessing the potential environmental impacts of unconventional gas resource development, to inform regulatory frameworks and appropriate management approaches. The geological and environmental knowledge, data and tools produced by the GBA Program will assist governments, industry, land use...
Technical Report
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The Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) Program developed a robust methodology using causal networks to assess the regional-scale risks of unconventional gas resource development on water and the environment. The methodology allows consistent analysis of risks at each step in a chain of events – called pathways – from gas resource developme...
Article
Endothermic animals that live permanently in hot deserts must avoid harmful hyperthermia when their body temperature increases from heat gained through external and internal sources. This is true particularly for endotherms that are exclusively diurnal. We investigated the Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos), a predatory Australian endemic restricted to...
Article
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Pet cats (Felis catus) often have negative effects on wildlife. This is of growing concern in urban areas as these are increasingly becoming hotspots of native wildlife activity, and as the human population increases, so too does the pet cat population. To maintain biodiversity in urban areas, further knowledge on pet cat behaviour and impacts is r...
Article
The Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos) is a rare Australian endemic bird of prey confined for its entire life to the continent's hot arid and semi-arid zone. The prevention of hyperthermia is therefore a crucial challenge. Birds, in general, rely on a dynamic balance between physiological mechanisms and the behaviours that augment them. Effective heat...
Article
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Bird assemblages in arid Australia are often characterized as being highly variable through time in response to boom and bust dynamics, although the importance of habitat in structuring assemblages at a local‐scale is also recognized. We use a novel approach to investigate the importance of rainfall variability in structuring bird assemblages in a...
Article
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Understanding wild animal responses to stressors underpins effective wildlife management. In order for responses to stressors to be correctly interpreted, it is critical that measurements are taken on wild animals using minimally invasive techniques. Studies investigating wild animal responses to stressors often measure either a single physiologica...
Article
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Large ungulate populations around the world are declining, experience range loss or even go extinct. Ecological theory predicts that a species’ vulnerability is greater at the edges of its geographic range compared to its core. However, edge populations may still be successfully managed inside reserves when the drivers of declines are addressed wit...
Article
Large ungulate populations around the world are declining, experience range loss or even go extinct. Ecological theory predicts that a species’ vulnerability is greater at the edges of its geographic range compared to its core. However, edge populations may still be successfully managed inside reserves when the drivers of declines are addressed wit...
Article
Full-text available
Tensions in values between dryland pastoralists and non-pastoralists, and often between pastoralists themselves, are common globally. The re-imagining of grazed landscapes must recognize that current pastoralists have their own visions of what pastoralism does, can and should provide to both themselves and society at large. “Disrupters” may rapidly...
Book
Full-text available
The approach for this analysis was to undertake a comprehensive review of the literature on beef production technologies and beef system outcomes, including supply-chain issues such as transport and logistics, and then to ‘socialise’ the findings of that review and gain the perspectives of different stakeholders and industry representatives. Based...
Article
Highly mobile animals in the world's drylands can have distinct core and irruptive ranges with the latter being occupied only during population outbreaks driven by resource pulses. Breeding events occur within the irruptive range during these periods of high resource availability. Here we quantify such an event involving the letter-winged kite (Ela...
Article
Full-text available
Predators induce stress in prey and can have beneficial effects in ecosystems, but can also have negative effects on biodiversity if they are overabundant or have been introduced. The growth of human populations is, at the same time, causing degradation of natural habitats and increasing interaction rates of humans with wildlife, such that conserva...
Article
The irruptive population dynamics of rodents are a globally renowned wildlife phenomenon; however, the dynamics of other small mammals with which rodents are sympatric are poorly understood. Dryland Australia supports a high diversity of small (<200 g) arthropod‐eating marsupials (Dasyuridae). Here, we test the hypothesis that dasyurid marsupials d...
Article
We aim to summarise what is known about torpor use and patterns in Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) bats from temperate, tropical/subtropical and arid/semiarid regions and to identify whether and how they differ. ANZ bats comprise ~90 species from 10 families. Members of at least nine of these are known to use torpor, but detailed knowledge is curr...
Article
Australia’s endemic Grey Falcon is an iconic but elusive bird of the arid interior. Whilst reviews of its ecology and status are more than 25 years old, new targeted studies include a population size estimate that is considerably lower (<1,000 individuals) than the one previously advanced (<5,000 individuals). According to this revised estimate, th...
Article
Full-text available
It may be possible to avert threatened species declines by protecting refuges that promote species persistence during times of stress. To do this, we need to know where refuges are located, and when and which management actions are required to preserve, enhance or replicate them. Here we use a niche-based perspective to characterise refuges that ar...
Article
1. Desert river floodplains are resource rich but high-risk habitats. For surface-dwelling animals in these habitats, persistence is a trade-off between the advantages of relatively abundant food resources and the costs of episodic surface disturbances from infrequent but unpredictable rainfall events. 2. In central Australia, there are few non-fly...
Article
Mark-recapture surveys of bird communities were conducted at five Acacia shrubland sites near Alice Springs, central Australia, between 2001 and 2011. The primary objective was to examine the levels of site fidelity displayed by individuals to provide insight into local bird community dynamics that cannot be ascertained by visual surveying. Approxi...
Article
Several different survey techniques are commonly used to assess the richness and abundance of birds. These methods can vary with respect to the likelihood of detecting species with different habits or characteristics and their effectiveness in different vegetation structures. It is advisable, therefore, to test the effectiveness of different method...
Article
The extirpation of marsupial predators and their replacement by eutherian carnivores are likely to have cascading ecological impacts on the trophic structure of arid Australia. Here, we assessed the diet and characterized the trophic role of the 3 largest remaining carnivorous marsupials (< 200 g body mass) in arid Australia: crest-tailed mulgaras...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Synthesis of results for the bioregional assessment of the Galilee subregion, Queensland, Australia.
Article
Current knowledge on the life history of Australia's arid zone invertebrates is sparse. From the studies conducted in arid zones globally, the primary drivers of invertebrates are thought to be climate, particularly temperature and rainfall. In Australia, a limited number of studies have shown vegetation and inter-species interactions are also high...
Article
The abundance of Australia's arid zone vertebrates is typically driven by fluctuations in rainfall, which dictate productivity across functional groups. Many species fluctuate from highly abundant during high rainfall periods to low abundance during low rainfall periods. Although these fluctuations are well documented, little is known regarding the...
Article
One of the largest remaining marsupial predators to persist across the Australian arid zone, despite increasing pressures, is the brush-tailed mulgara (Dasycercus blythi). Although D. blythi populations have declined since European settlement, they are currently considered stable, persisting in small, low-density isolated populations during periods...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The central rock-rat Zyzomys pedunculatus (Waite 1896) is classified as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999 (EPBC Act). It is the only member of its genus confined to the arid zone; the other four Zyzomys species are restricted to the wet/dry tropics of northern Australia. Historically, the...
Article
Our study builds on recent research on the role of drought refuges in facilitating the persistence of arid-dwelling rodents during extended dry periods by characterizing the spatial ecology and shelter use of the plains mouse, Pseudomys australis, a threatened Australian desert rodent that uses refuges. We radiotracked 18 P. australis in the wester...
Article
Full-text available
A prevailing view in dryland systems is that mammals are constrained by the scarcity of fertile soils and primary productivity. An alternative view is that predation is a primary driver of mammal assemblages, especially in Australia, where two introduced mesopredators - the feral cat Felis catus and red fox Vulpes vulpes - have decimated the drylan...
Article
Context Accurate surveying and monitoring of biodiversity provides essential baseline data for developing and implementing effective environmental management strategies. Land managers in arid zones face the challenge of managing vast, remote landscapes that support numerous cryptic species that are difficult to detect and monitor. Although research...
Article
We characterised 14 new polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered lizard Liopholis slateri. Initially, 454 shotgun sequencing was used to identify 46 loci, which were trialled for amplification. Subsequently, 14 of these loci were screened for variation in 21 individuals from scat-derived DNA samples collected from Owen Springs Reserve in...
Conference Paper
Few bird species that are not cooperative breeders exhibit prolonged parent-offspring association, i.e. periods during which the parents provide food and protection to their offspring. The causes most commonly suggested for this behaviour are the extended periods that the juveniles require to develop adult foraging proficiency (for example in some...
Article
Full-text available
Policies for conservation outside of protected areas, such as those designed to address the globally important decline in Australian mammals, will not result in net improvements unless they address barriers to pro-environmental behaviour. We took a mixed methods approach to explore potential value-action gaps for small mammal conservation behaviour...
Article
The majority of animals have a specific activity rhythm over the 24 h daily cycle such that they can be categorised as either diurnal or nocturnal. This stability creates interest in understanding species that can invert their activity rhythm. The kaluta, Dasykaluta rosamondae, a small dasyurid marsupial endemic to northern arid Australia, is one s...
Article
Imperfect detection of individuals within an animal population can bias estimates of abundance and other population metrics. However, detectability may be improved by timing surveys with conditions that increase detection among individuals of the population. We explored the weather conditions that promote surface activity in a burrowing desert liza...
Article
Full-text available
It is generally assumed that in unpredictable environments, the use of daily torpor and its interaction with daily activity are largely dependent on environmental thermal conditions and resource availability. Using temperature telemetry, we compared the thermal biology and activity patterns of 2 species of mulgaras (Dasycercus blythi and D. cristic...
Article
A suite of dryland mammals rely on refuges for long-term persistence during alternating cycles of low and high resource availability. Refuges are small, discrete areas into which populations contract during the lengthy dry periods that characterize dryland environments. Little is known about the characteristics of a location that make it functional...
Article
Full-text available
Recognition of individuals within an animal population is central to a range of estimates about population structure and dynamics. However, traditional methods of distinguishing individuals, by some form of physical marking, often rely on capture and handling which may affect aspects of normal behavior. Photographic identification has been used as...
Data
Table S1. Temporal sequence of the development of facial markings for an individual of Liopholis slateri (S39).
Article
Diet and, more broadly, trophic ecology is an important aspect of microbat ecology that provides valuable information on how species interact and persist within the environment. In this study, we assessed the trophic ecology of a microbat assemblage in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. On the basis of analysis of stomach and faecal content...
Article
Irruptive population dynamics are characteristic of a wide range of fauna in the world's arid (dryland) regions. Recent evidence indicates that regional persistence of irruptive species, particularly small mammals, during the extensive dry periods of unpredictable length that occur between resource pulses in drylands occurs as a result of the prese...
Article
Full-text available
Lack of information regarding the ecology of threatened species may compromise conservation efforts. Mala, a small macropod that historically inhabited a vast area of arid Australia, became extinct in the wild in 1991. Although dietary studies were completed before their disappearance from the Tanami Desert, no such work was conducted in the southe...
Article
Full-text available
The foraging behaviour of the endangered Australian skink (Liopholis slateri) was investigated through detailed observation of a subpopulation of lizards during seven months of sampling. Slater’s skinks primarily exhibited ambush predation, darting from burrow entrances to distances of up to 4m with a success rate of ~70%. The direction of darting...
Conference Paper
It is generally assumed that in unpredictable environments daily torpor use is largely dependent on environmental thermal conditions and resource availability. We therefore compared the thermal biology and activity patterns of two species of mulgaras (Dasycercus blythi and D. cristicauda) at three sites in central Australia using temperature teleme...
Article
Predators often have important roles in structuring ecosystems via their effects on each other and on prey populations. However, these effects may be altered in the presence of anthropogenic food resources, fuelling debate about whether the availability of such resources could alter the ecological role of predators. Here, we review the extent to wh...
Article
Full-text available
Desert rodents exhibit irruptive (boom–bust) population dynamics in response to pulses of primary productivity. Such unpredictable population dynamics are a challenge for monitoring population trends and managing populations, particularly for species in decline. We studied the population dynamics and occurrence of populations of the vulnerable plai...
Article
Full-text available
A breeding pair of Black-breasted Buzzards Hamirostra melanosternon was observed for 98.4 h between August 2011 and January 2012 near Alice Springs, Northern Territory, covering the cycle from nest-building to the fledging of two chicks. Although both parents (which were individually recognisable) made similar contributions to nest-building, mainly...
Article
Full-text available
The Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) is an Australian endemic that displays irruptive population dynamics. We studied a breeding event in the southern Northern Territory in 2010–11, which followed a peak in primary productivity stimulated by extended above average rainfall. Birds were present from mid-July 2010 to February 2011, with highest...
Article
Full-text available
1. Translocations have become an increasingly popular tool in threatened macropod conservation in Australia. Although previous evaluations of Australian macropod translocations have been published, the number of contemporary translocation programmes awaiting analysis, and new data regarding historic translocations, required a new assessment of macr...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the distribution and ecology of the cryptic and unique marsupial mole. In this paper we report on the habitat preferences and surfacing behaviour of marsupial moles on the basis of surface sign surveys conducted in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Ayers Rock Resort over a 12-month period by Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park sta...
Article
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Populations of Australian desert rodents are known to undergo booms in response to resource pulses following periods of high rainfall. Australia's arid-adapted Tyto owls have been recorded responding functionally and numerically to these small mammal booms, though it is not known whether the Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae is able to respond...
Article
Full-text available
The dramatic spatial and temporal variation in rainfall and the resource pulses which these trigger provide a challenge for predicting consumer-primary productivity dynamics especially in arid systems. In particular, understanding is needed of the degree to which boom-bust dynamics drive arid systems. Here, we assess the response of birds (diurnal...
Article
Full-text available
In comparison with drylands elsewhere, the unpredictability of rainfall in central Australia is globally distinctive. The transformative rhythms of arid Australia reflect extremes of climatic conditions rather than seasons, and are characterized by irregular pulses of productivity that