Daniel Natusch

Daniel Natusch
EPIC Biodiversity

Doctor of Philosophy

About

71
Publications
71,907
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854
Citations
Citations since 2016
51 Research Items
719 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
Full-text available
Although giant snakes are abundant in some tropical forests, their ecology is far less well-known than for smaller species of snakes in cooler climates. Information on spatial ecology can clarify management issues such as the sizes and types of habitats needed for conservation. We radio-tracked 27 scrub pythons (Simalia amethistina; snout-vent leng...
Article
Context. Across much of its geographic range, the masked water snake, Homalopsis buccata, is harvested each year in large numbers, questioning the sustainability of that offtake. Aims. To quantify abundance and demography of water snakes in anthropogenically disturbed habitats in an area of West Java, where these snakes are subject to intensive har...
Article
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Overexploitation is a key driver of biodiversity loss but the relationship between the use and trade of species and conservation outcomes is not always straightforward. Accurately characterizing wildlife trade and understanding the impact it has on wildlife populations are therefore critical to evaluating the potential threat trade poses to species...
Article
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The CITES treaty is the major international instrument designed to safeguard wild plants and animals from overexploitation by international trade. CITES is now approaching 50 years old, and we contend that it is showing its age. In stark contrast to most environmental policy arenas, CITES does not require, encourage, or even allow for, consideratio...
Article
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Despite broad scientific consensus that sustainable use of wildlife can enhance conservation efforts, ethical concerns have led some community groups to oppose use of wild animals. Voicing those concerns is legitimate, but underlying philosophical bias should not influence science-based analysis and interpretation. We argue that philosophical biase...
Article
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Colour polymorphisms are common in nature, but their evolutionary significance and the mechanisms maintaining them sometimes remain poorly understood. Polymorphic green pythons (Morelia azurea and Morelia viridis) are born either red or yellow. Several processes are proposed to maintain such polymorphisms, and the assumption that colour is adaptive...
Article
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We collected data on the trade of seven turtle and tortoise species endemic to Indonesia and Malaysia (Amyda cartilaginea, Batagur borneoensis, Cuora amboinensis, Carettochelys insculpta, Heosemys annandalii, Heosemys grandis, and Heosemys spinosa). We collated data for: the operations and economics of three breeding farms and one ranching facility...
Article
The availability of prey varies through time and space, forcing predators to modify the times, places and ways in which they forage. Although studied most intensively in mammalian and avian predators, seasonal shifts in predation tactics are widespread in ectotherms also. In tropical rainforests of northeastern Australia, scrub pythons (Simalia ame...
Article
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The use of carbon dioxide (CO 2) exposure as a means of animal euthanasia has received considerable attention in mammals and birds but remains virtually untested in reptiles. We measured the behavioral responses of four squamate reptile species (Homalopsis buccata, Malayopython reticulatus, Python bivitattus, and Varanus salvator) to exposure to 99...
Article
On 10 March 2014, a radio-tracked Australian scrub python (Simalia amethistina) made a predatory attack on a 64 kg sleeping woman. The snake was unsuccessful, but data from our radio-tracking programme suggest that predation attempts on oversized prey are not uncommon-even if they threaten the survival of the predator. We explore hypotheses about w...
Article
The large and enigmatic New Guinean pythons in the genus Leiopython are harvested from the wild to supply the international trade in pets. Six species are currently recognized (albertisii, biakensis, fredparkeri, huonensis, meridionalis, montanus) but the taxonomy of this group has been controversial. We combined analysis of 421 nuclear loci and co...
Research
Supplementary material for linked article on green python systematics
Article
ContextEach year, millions of reptile skins are commercially exported from Southeast Asia for exotic leathers. Quotas are commonly used to regulate this trade, but quotas are sometimes exceeded and do little to ensure harvest sustainability. AimsTo explore the relationship between the size of live pythons and their skins, and to assess whether skin...
Article
Wildlife populations exposed to intense harvesting often exhibit shifts in attributes of the commercial offtake (e.g., numbers, body sizes, body condition, sex ratios, size at maturation, reproductive frequency). To look for such changes, we examined >2,500 specimens of field‐collected blood pythons (Python brongersmai) brought to 2 processing faci...
Article
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Human encroachment on nature grows constantly, increasing human-wildlife interactions. Flight initiation distance (FID, the distance at which animals flee from an approaching threat) is often used to measure antipredator behaviour and establish buffer zones to reduce human impact on wildlife. In this study, we approached 10 waterbird species on lar...
Article
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Climate change, overconsumption, land‐use intensification, widespread pollution, and other environmentally damaging factors are threatening Earth's biodiversity and its ability to provide ecosystem services essential for human survival. Article impact statement: Wallach et al.’s framing of compassionate conservation is flawed and impractical and co...
Article
Context: Each year, between 50 000 and 120 000 Asian water monitors (Varanus salvator, to >2 m total length) are harvested from the wild in Peninsular Malaysia for their skins. Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), international trade is allowable only if it is sustainable. Aims: To asses...
Article
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Short-tailed pythons (Python breitensteini, P. brongersmai and P. curtus) are exploited in large numbers for the international leather trade, but their ecology remains poorly known. We quantify sexual dimorphism and reproductive output in P. breitensteini from Kalimantan and P. brongersmai from sites in north and south Sumatra. Sexual dimorphism wa...
Article
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Parasites profoundly influence the lives of their hosts, yet the dynamics of host–parasite interactions are poorly understood – especially in reptiles. We examined the ecological correlates of parasitism by ixodid ticks in an assemblage of 10 snake species in tropical Australia. In total, we recorded 3803 ticks on 1841 individual snakes of six spec...
Article
Article impact statement: Promotion of legal and sustainable harvesting of selected wild species may help address wildlife laundering in Indonesia.
Article
Full-text available
We examined Sarcocystis spp. in giant snakes from the Indo-Australian Archipelago and Australia using a combination of morphological (size of sporocyst) and molecular analyses. We amplified by PCR nuclear 18S rDNA from single sporocysts in order to detect mixed infections and unequivocally assign the retrieved sequences to the corresponding parasit...
Article
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The blue-tailed monitor (Varanus doreanus) is a large but poorly known lizard described from New Guinea and adjacent islands. Recently, V. doreanus was recorded from mainland Australia, but its extent of occurrence there and aspects of its natural history remain unknown. We provide basic notes on the habitat associations, morphometrics, male combat...
Article
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Many invasive species exploit anthropogenically disturbed habitats, but most of those taxa evolved long before humans. Presumably, then, an ability to use natural (non-anthropogenic) disturbances pre-adapted invaders to a world later degraded by people. Studies on invasive species in naturally disturbed habitats thus can clarify the ancestral niche...
Article
Commercial production systems for wildlife increasingly involve closed-cycle captive breeding, in which effective regulation requires methods for verifying the provenance of stock. We compared the isotopic and elemental compositions of skin from wild and captive-bred pythons raised under different diet regimes in Indonesia and Viet Nam to examine t...
Article
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Nesting is a critical yet hazardous life stage for many birds. For colonial-breeding birds, the conspicuousness of the colony to predators suggests immense pressure to select optimal colonial nesting sites. But what drives selection of those sites? As with solitary nesting birds, reducing access by predators may be the single most important factor....
Article
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In many parts of the world, wildlife species congregate at ‘hotspot’ locations that offer feeding opportunities unmatched in the wider landscape. But to exploit those resource-rich sites, animals must first locate them. In tropical Australia, predators and scavengers (especially dingos, scrub turkeys, snakes, and invasive toads) gather beneath larg...
Article
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Colonial-nesting organisms can strongly alter the chemical and biotic conditions around their aggregation sites, with cascading impacts on other components of the ecosystem. In tropical Australia, Metallic Starlings (Aplonis metallica) nest in large colonies far above the forest canopy, in emergent trees. The ground beneath those trees is open, in...
Article
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In tropical Australian rainforests, predators and scavengers aggregate beneath emergent trees that house large colonies of metallic starlings (Aplonis metallica), feeding in the nutrient-rich open areas below. Analysis of camera-trap records shows that the presence of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) is associated with an absence of birds (cockatoos and bru...
Article
Full-text available
Large numbers of metallic starlings (Aplonis metallica) migrate annually from New Guinea to the rainforests of tropical Australia, where they nest communally in single emergent trees (up to 1,000 birds). These aggregations create dense and species-rich faunal “hot-spots”, attracting a diverse assemblage of local consumers that utilise this seasonal...
Data
Natusch et al. Camera trap data_PLOS ONE.xlsx. Caption: Raw camera trap data used in the analyses for this study. (XLSX)
Data
Natusch et al. Nocturnal surveys data_PLOS ONE.xlsx. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability of wildlife harvests is critical but difficult to assess. Evaluations of sustainability typically combine modelling with the measurement of underlying abundances. For many taxa harvested in developing countries, however, abundances are near-impossible to survey and a lack of detailed ecological information impedes the reliability of...
Article
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Snake farming in Asia has increased over the past decade, and conservationists have expressed concerns that farms may foster overexploitation of wild populations and create legal conduits for illegally harvested wild individuals. We conducted face-to-face interviews with snake farmers in Viet Nam and China, with the aim of describing the basic mode...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study uses a sustainable livelihoods framework to examine the impact of the python skin trade on the livelihoods of people in Peninsular Malaysia. The report details the livelihood profiles of people participating in trade and draws on its results to discuss the livelihoods outcomes, conservation implications and challenges of participation in...
Article
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Body sizes and morphological traits of animals are often strongly influenced by their diet. Several studies have shown this to be true for snakes and have linked intraspecific differences in these attributes to geographic and sexual variations in prey sizes and diet. To help clarify anecdotal reports of morphological variation among populations of...
Article
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The international trade in wildlife is currently one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. One group, the turtles, has experienced far-reaching population declines and extinctions because the majority of animals are sourced from the wild. The island of New Guinea has the highest diversity of freshwater turtles (Chelidae) in the Australasian regi...
Article
Full-text available
Over-exploitation of wildlife is a significant threat to global biodiversity, but addressing the sustainability of harvests can be difficult when trade is conducted illegally. The wildlife trade is driven chiefly by consumer demand, largely in developed nations (but increasingly in Asia), and more species are traded to meet international demand for...
Article
Prey selection in many species is known to change ontogenetically, suggesting that associated changes in trophic structure may also be important. Several studies have examined relationships between prey selection and the size of trophic structures; however, few have explored these changes over ontogeny or the effects that they may have on a species...
Article
Full-text available
White-lipped pythons (WLP) (Genus Leiopython) have been collected from the wild in Indonesian New Guinea and exported for the pet trade since at least 1977. Despite the long duration of trade and recent taxonomic work recognising six different species, virtually nothing is known of the trade dynamics or ecology of these species. Surveys of wildlife...
Article
Full-text available
Carpet pythons (Morelia spilota) are medium-sized non-venomous snakes inhabiting most of continental Australia and a small area of New Guinea. They have been relatively well studied in Australia, but little is known about the New Guinea population, even though it is harvested and exported from Indonesia for the international pet trade. In total, 28...
Article
The green python (Morelia viridis) is an iconic snake species highly sought after in the pet trade and is the target of illegal collection. Despite their popularity, some important ecological attributes of green pythons remain unknown, making their effective conservation management difficult. Detection-only surveys were conducted throughout the pot...

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