Dale G Nimmo

Dale G Nimmo
Deakin University · Centre for Integrative Ecology

Doctor of Philosophy (conservation biology)

About

118
Publications
49,366
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
4,415
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract 1. Semi‐natural features among farmland have a key role in maintaining wildlife in rural landscapes. Practical conservation requires knowledge of which combinations of features are of greatest value and whether this differs among faunal groups. We used a ‘landscape’ approach to investigate the relative importance to birds and insects (bees...
Article
Southern Australia’s 2019–20 wildfire season was unprecedented, but the ecological toll remains poorly understood. Estimates of three billion animals being affected by the fires attracted global attention, but how many of those animals succumbed to the flames? A recent systematic review of fire-induced mortality showed that a surprisingly high prop...
Article
Arboreal lizards, especially species that inhabit flood-prone environments, have been poorly surveyed worldwide. We examined spatiotemporal patterns in arboreal lizard abundance and factors driving detection rates in floodplain environments using artificial bark covers, a non-destructive and cost-effective survey method. In total, 112 flexible, clo...
Article
Full-text available
‘Megafire’ is an emerging concept commonly used to describe fires that are extreme in terms of size, behaviour, and/or impacts, but the term’s meaning remains ambiguous. We sought to resolve ambiguity surrounding the meaning of ‘megafire’ by conducting a structured review of the use and definition of the term in several languages in the peer‐review...
Article
Full-text available
Context The amount and configuration of habitat are independent but tightly linked landscape characteristics which are often confounded in ecological studies. Differentiating the effects of each characteristic is critical for conservation, because the mechanisms by which they influence populations are distinct. While studies that have measured the...
Article
Full-text available
Aim As climate change intensifies and wildfire frequency and scale increase, it is critical we develop a robust understanding of how species recover from these major disturbances. Here, we aim to determine whether source populations for recovery following large‐scale intense wildfires are derived from either in situ survival, or immigration from su...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climatic extremes and fire affect ecosystems across the globe, yet our understanding of how species are influenced by the interaction of these broadscale ecological drivers is poorly understood. Using a ten‐year dataset, we tested how extreme drought and rainfall interacted with time since fire (TSF) to shape bird species’ distributions. Locat...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The incidence of major fires is increasing globally, creating extraordinary challenges for governments, managers and conservation scientists. In 2019–2020, Australia experienced precedent‐setting fires that burned over several months, affecting seven states and territories and causing massive biodiversity loss. Whilst the fires were still burni...
Article
Full-text available
ContextIn many regions of the world, Indigenous people continue to shape landscape patterns using fire. Some studies show that Indigenous fire regimes create a diverse “visible mosaic” of time-since-fire ages. Less is known about the underlying, cumulative spatiotemporal patterns of fires that are hidden beneath visible fire scars—termed the “invis...
Article
Full-text available
After environmental disasters, species with large population losses may need urgent protection to prevent extinction and support recovery. Following the 2019–2020 Australian megafires, we estimated population losses and recovery in fire‐affected fauna, to inform conservation status assessments and management. Temperate and subtropical Australia. 20...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat destruction and degradation, and their interaction with other threats, are driving animal declines worldwide. One approach increasingly proposed for mitigating these threats is to create artificial habitat structures as substitutes for destroyed natural structures. Here, we provide the first general definition of artificial habitat structur...
Article
Full-text available
When exotic species are introduced to new environments, they often have a competitive advantage over native species. In northern Australia, pigs, cattle, and water buffalo have established widespread, feral populations. As ungulates have high water requirements, they typically congregate near waterpoints. We used a fencing experiment to test whethe...
Article
Full-text available
Earth's rapidly warming climate is propelling us towards an increasingly fire-prone future. Currently, knowledge of the extent and characteristics of animal mortality rates during fire remains rudimentary, hindering our ability to predict how animal populations may be impacted in the future. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a global syst...
Article
Full-text available
Sound taxonomy is the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. Without a fundamental understanding of species delimitations, as well as their distributions and ecological requirements, our ability to conserve them is drastically impeded. Cryptic species – two or more distinct species currently classified as a single species – present a significant...
Article
Full-text available
Planet Earth is entering the age of megafire, pushing ecosystems to their limits and beyond. While fire causes mortality of animals across vast portions of the globe, scientists are only beginning to consider fire as an evolutionary force in animal ecology. Here, we generate a series of hypotheses regarding animal responses to fire by adopting insi...
Article
Artificial refuges are human‐made structures that aim to create safe places for animals to breed, hibernate, or take shelter in lieu of natural refuges. Artificial refuges are used across the globe to mitigate the impacts of a variety of threats on wildlife, such as habitat loss and degradation. However, there is little understanding of the science...
Article
Amphibian populations have experienced unprecedented decline over the past few decades. River regulation, water diversions and reductions in the frequency of reconnections between rivers and floodplains have contributed to decreased floodplain inundation and overall wetland degradation, contributing to regional declines in amphibians. Hydrological...
Article
Full-text available
Fire shapes ecosystems globally, including semi-arid ecosystems. In Australia, semi-arid ‘mallee’ ecosystems occur primarily across the southern part of the continent, forming an interface between the arid interior and temperate south. Mallee vegetation is characterized by short, multi-stemmed eucalypts that grow from a basal lignotuber. Fire shape...
Article
Full-text available
ContextResearch on the impacts of anthropogenic habitat fragmentation has dominated landscape ecology for decades, yet our understanding of what drives species’ distributions in naturally fragmented landscapes remains limited.Objectives We aimed to (i) determine whether rocky patches embedded within a ‘matrix’ of fire prone grasslands act as natura...
Article
Rocky environments host rich levels of biodiversity and provide vital habitat for specialised organisms, range‐restricted species, and a broad range of ectotherms adapted to saxicoline environments. In Australia, rock habitat is being destroyed during soil amelioration practices associated with agricultural intensification. Advances in rock crushin...
Article
Projections of human population growth for 2050 indicate that Africa is expected to steadily increase its rural population, raising questions on how to best accommodate people while minimizing impacts on biodiversity. We explored the outcomes of scenarios of rural population growth mediated by housing development. We designed our scenarios based on...
Article
Full-text available
In response to Australia's current extinction crisis, substantial research efforts have been targeted towards some of the most imperilled species. One such species is the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus), a marsupial predator that has recently suffered substantial declines in range and is now listed as Endangered. We conducted a systematic revi...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was test whether maximum body mass and jaw length are reliable predictors of trophic position (TP) in fishes, and to compare linear and nonlinear machine‐learning (ML) models incorporating biogeography, habitat and other morphological traits. Global. Modern. Fishes. We compiled a global database of TP (2.0–4.5), maximum body m...
Article
Full-text available
Australia’s 2019–2020 mega-fires were exacerbated by drought, anthropogenic climate change and existing land-use management. Here, using a combination of remotely sensed data and species distribution models, we found these fires burnt ~97,000 km2 of vegetation across southern and eastern Australia, which is considered habitat for 832 species of nat...
Article
Applied ecology has traditionally approached management problems through a simplified, single-species lens. Repeated failures of single-species management have led us to a new paradigm - managing at the ecosystem level. Ecosystem management involves a complex array of interacting organisms, processes and scientific disciplines. Accounting for inter...
Article
Full-text available
1. Introduced carnivores are often cryptic, making it difficult to quantify their presence in ecosystems, and assess how this varies in relation to management interventions. Survey design should thus seek to improve detectability and maximize statistical power to ensure sound inference regarding carnivore population trends. Roads may facilitate car...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Models of human habitat choice and landscape use assume that people have negative effects on resource availability, which causes them to avoid regions that are already occupied or that show signs of extensive past use in favor of regions of higher quality. We show that when people engage in activities that increase resource productivit...
Article
Foundation species are species that play important roles in structuring ecological communities. Therefore, conservation managers often aim to promote foundation species. However, it can be unclear which features of foundation species ought to be the focus of management. We studied hummock‐forming grasses in the genus Triodia. Triodia grasses are co...
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps are increasingly used to survey and monitor rare or cryptic species, yet few studies consider how camera orientation influences species detectability, among other metrics such as total independent detections and likelihood of missing detections. We used these measures to compare the performance of vertically and horizontally orientated...
Article
Full-text available
One technique used to combat the growing global species extinction crisis has been to create artificial refuges—human‐made replacements for natural refuges destroyed during habitat modification. However, there is limited knowledge of how closely artificial refuges replicate the natural refuges they seek to replace. Mining threatens many species wor...
Article
ContextEstimating animal abundance often relies on being able to identify individuals; however, this can be challenging, especially when applied to large animals that are difficult to trap and handle. Camera traps have provided a non-invasive alternative by using natural markings to individually identify animals within image data. Although camera t...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Species range contractions are increasingly common globally. The niche reduction hypothesis posits that geographic range contractions are often patterned across space owing to heterogeneity in threat impacts and tolerance. We applied the niche reduction hypothesis to the decline of a threatened marsupial predator across northern Australia, the...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of how disturbances such as fire shape habitat structure and composition, and affect animal interactions, is fundamental to ecology and ecosystem management. Predators also exert strong effects on ecological communities, through top‐down regulation of prey and competitors, which can result in trophic cascades. Despite their ubiquity, ecol...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The only factor in the fossil record that consistently buffers against extinction risk is large geographical range. We ask whether extant vertebrate species with the smallest geographical range for their body size have a higher extinction risk, and thus whether the lower bound of the modern range–body size relationship could serve as an effecti...
Article
Full-text available
1.Interactions between threatening processes and their effects on biodiversity are a major focus of ecological research and management. Threat interactions arise when threats or their effects co‐occur spatially and temporally. 2.Whether the associations between threats are coincidental or causally linked is poorly understood, but has fundamental im...
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
Full-text available
The taxonomic status and systematic nomenclature of the Australian dingo remain contentious, resulting in decades of inconsistent applications in the scientific literature and in policy. Prompted by a recent publication calling for dingoes to be considered taxonomically as domestic dogs (Jackson et al. 2017, Zootaxa 4317, 201-224), we review the is...
Article
Full-text available
The Australian Government's 5‐year Threatened Species Strategy contains four priority action areas and associated targets. Here, we argue that the well‐publicized target to cull 2 million feral cats has a weak scientific basis because: (1) reliable estimates of Australia's cat population size did not exist when the target was set; (2) it is extreme...
Article
Worldwide, bees have an important role in ecosystem function and the provision of ecosystem services through their role as pollinators. The diversity of bee species in rural landscapes is influenced by the type of landscape features present, and by land-use and management practices. A key challenge is to understand and predict how species vary acro...
Article
Full-text available
Movement is a trait of fundamental importance in ecosystems subject to frequent disturbances, such as fire‐prone ecosystems. Despite this, the role of movement in facilitating responses to fire has received little attention. Herein, we consider how animal movement interacts with fire history to shape species distributions. We consider how fire affe...
Article
Landscape heterogeneity, from both natural and anthropogenic causes, fundamentally influence the distribution of species. Conservation management requires an understanding of how species respond to heterogeneity at different spatial scales and whether differences may occur between demographic components of a species population. We examined the spat...
Article
Full-text available
Detecting trends in species’ distribution and abundance are essential for conserving threatened species, and depend upon effective monitoring programmes. Despite this, monitoring programmes are often designed without explicit consideration of their ability to deliver the information required by managers, such as their power to detect population cha...
Article
Full-text available
• Conserving large carnivores is controversial because they can threaten wildlife, human safety, and livestock production. Since large carnivores often have large ranges, effective management requires knowledge of how their ecology and functional roles vary biogeographically. • We examine continental‐scale patterns in the diet of the dingo – Austra...
Article
Full-text available
Linear strips of vegetation (e.g., hedges, roadsides) are characteristic of rural environments worldwide. Different types of linear features have distinct structure and landscape context, suggesting they each may offer unique opportunities for conservation in modified landscapes. We compared the avifauna of 76 streamside (riparian) sites and 33 sit...
Article
Full-text available
Recent calls for the reintroduction of functionally important animal species are motivated by a desire to restore ecological function, but overlook the ecological roles performed by humans. Here, we consider humans in ecological context, exploring our roles in the maintenance and restoration of ecosystem function.
Article
1.Conservation of biodiversity in urban environments depends on species’ responses to the intensity of urban development. ‘Land sharing’ and ‘land sparing’ represent alternate ends of a gradient that conceptualises a trade‐off between the human population and biodiversity. We used a linear optimisation procedure to 1) identify the optimal allocatio...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly complex research questions and global challenges (e.g., climate change and biodiversity loss) are driving rapid development, refinement, and uses of technology in ecology. This trend is spawning a distinct sub‐discipline, here termed “technoecology.” We highlight recent ground‐breaking and transformative technological advances for stud...
Article
Full-text available
Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire-age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing s...
Article
Full-text available
Apex predators can suppress smaller bodied ‘mesopredators’. In doing so, they can provide refuge to species preyed upon by mesopredators, which is particularly important in regions where mesopredators are invasive. While most studies of mesopredator suppression focus on the response of mesopredators to human control of apex predators, other factors...
Article
The rapid development of mechanistic, trait-based models has resulted in increasingly reliable predictions of the functional diversity of individuals in populations and communities. However, a focus on individuals’ traits differs from the prevailing focus on species in much of community ecology. We sought to identify correlative links between speci...
Article
Full-text available
Context Passive infrared cameras have become a widely utilised method for surveying mammals, providing substantial benefits over conventional trapping methods. Cameras have only recently been tested for their ability to survey terrestrial reptiles, and have not yet been tested against other reptile survey methods for their comparative effectiveness...
Article
Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) have a near-global distribution. They range from being feral and free-ranging to owned and completely dependent on humans. All types of domestic dogs can interact with wildlife and have severe negative impacts on biodiversity. Here, we use IUCN Red List data to quantify the number of threatened species negatively im...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions-58...
Article
Full-text available
A rapidly growing body of the literature reveals the important roles apex predators play in shaping the composition and functioning of ecological communities worldwide. The principal effects of apex predators—namely herbivore and mesopredator population suppression—are often evident following their removal from environments, or their reintroduction...
Conference Paper
We consider an optimization problem in ecology where our objective is to maximize biodiversity with respect to different land-use allocations. As it turns out, the main problem can be framed as learning the weights of a weighted arithmetic mean where the objective is the geometric mean of its outputs. We propose methods for approximating solutions...
Article
Full-text available
In agricultural regions worldwide, linear networks of vegetation such as hedges, fencerows and live fences provide habitat for plant and animal species in heavily modified landscapes. In Australia, networks of remnant native vegetation along roadsides are a distinctive feature of many rural landscapes. Here, we investigated the richness and composi...
Data
All birds recorded on transect over the four survey rounds, showing habitat association, foraging guild, presence and abundance at sites. ** OT = Open tolerant, OC = Open country, Wdl = Woodland-dependent. + I = Insectivore, P = Predatory, N = Nectarivore, S = Granivore, F = Frugivore, V = Vegetation, R = Raptorial. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Guidelines for submitting commentsPolicy: Comments that contribute to the discussion of the article will be posted within approximately three business days. We do not accept anonymous comments. Please include your email address; the address will not be displayed in the posted comment. Cell Press Editors will screen the comments to ensure that they...