Graeme Coulson

Graeme Coulson
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of BioSciences

About

167
Publications
25,152
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2,393
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Publications

Publications (167)
Article
Full-text available
Group-living species are often organized into social dominance hierarchies, where high-ranking individuals have priority of access to resources, including estrous females. Traits associated with male dominance status should thus be correlated with reproductive success, but, with the exception of research on some primates, studies with both behavior...
Article
Full-text available
The roadkill of wildlife is a global problem. Much has been written about deterring wildlife from roads, but, as of yet, there is no empirical support for deterrents based on visual and/or auditory signals. A recent paper entitled ‘Can virtual fences reduce wombat road mortalities?’reported the results of a roadkill mitigation trial. The authors in...
Article
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Macropods play an important ecological role in the Australian environment; however, at high population densities can adversely affect biodiversity and primary production and result in human–wildlife conflicts. While shooting is recognised as the most humane and species‐specific method for controlling macropod populations, in peri‐urban situations f...
Article
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This Statement on improving kangaroo management originates from the shared experience of many peak bodies and stakeholders that existing policy and practices related to kangaroo management cause perverse outcomes for animal welfare, conservation, productivity, waste, drought resilience, climate, and the health, culture and wellbeing of Australians....
Article
Left unchecked, macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) can exhibit irruptive population dynamics, rising rapidly to a peak, then crashing when overwhelmed by inadequate resources. This predictable population trajectory frequently leads to overabundance issues, particularly in peri-urban parks and nature reserves. Management decisions are usually guide...
Article
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Every macropod population is unique in terms of the combination of species, site and management goals, so there is no universal ‘best’ method for surveying populations. We distinguish between different measures of abundance and the confidence a manager can place in them. We examine the separate components of survey methods: the survey platform, mod...
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Populations of macropods are higher than estimated pre-European densities in many parts of Australia. To achieve appropriate densities of macropods in the Australian Capital Territory's nature reserves, multi-tenure kangaroo management units are used to tailor management of kangaroos and total grazing pressure to achieve conservation objectives. An...
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Peri-urban Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) populations can reach very high densities in areas with remnant native vegetation and adequate pasture. This review summarizes the scientific evidence for the impacts of these high-density peri-urban populations, which predominantly involve threats to human life and livelihood (kangaroo–vehicle...
Article
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Roads can have significant impacts on wildlife populations by impeding movement, restricting access to resources and causing wildlifevehicle collisions. In particular, wildlifevehicle collisions represent a substantial conservation and social problem, and although mitigation measures are available, an increased understanding of the temporal and spa...
Article
Bat boxes are often used as a conservation tool in human-disturbed landscapes across Australia; however, to assess their effectiveness we need to understand the factors influencing their occupancy by insectivorous bats. We investigated roost selection by Gould's wattled bat (Chalinolobus gouldii) using 76 bat boxes, comprising six designs, across t...
Article
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Reference intervals (RIs) describe baseline parameters of healthy animals, providing a powerful tool for wildlife managers to monitor health, identify disease and assess animal welfare. This paper reports haematological, glucose and serum protein RIs for one of Australia's most iconic and managed mammals, the eastern grey kangaroo Macropus giganteu...
Article
The red-necked wallaby (Notamacropus rufogriseus) has a broad geographic range along the eastern seaboard of Australia, but ecological research on the mainland subspecies has been limited. We aimed to assess long-term monitoring (1974 to 2017) of abundance at a site in the Grampians National Park in Victoria. Our second aim was to evaluate trap suc...
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Animals access resources such as food and shelter, and acquiring these resources has varying risks and benefits, depending on the suitability of the landscape. Some animals change their patterns of resource selection in space and time to optimize the trade‐off between risks and benefits. We examine the circadian variation in resource selection of s...
Article
In a recent publication, Fox et al. (2019) described a three-year trial of a ‘virtual fence’ installed to reduce wildlife roadkills in north-eastern Tasmania. The authors reported a 50% reduction in total roadkills, concluding that the ‘virtual fence’ had the potential to substantially reduce roadkill rates. The field of roadkill mitigation has a l...
Article
One of the manifestations of chronic fluoride toxicosis in mammals is skeletal fluorosis, which can include lesions of degenerative joint disease (DJD). Although DJD lesions have been less commonly studied than bone or dental lesions in relation to the pathology and epidemiology of fluoride toxicosis, there have been multiple independent studies in...
Article
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The availability of low-cost wildlife trackers increases the capacity to collect valuable ecological data when research budgets are limited. We converted a commercially available global positioning system (GPS) product into a low-cost tracking device that sends data via the mobile phone network, and assessed its performance under varying conditions...
Data
GPS wildlife tracker costs. Total cost of GPS wildlife tracker per unit excluding postage. (DOCX)
Data
Comparing spatially-matched GPS data from stationary and animal-born devices. (DOCX)
Data
Dataset underlying the findings described for the Central Highlands analysis (HDOP). (CSV)
Data
Dataset underlying the findings described for Phillip Island analysis (HDOP). (CSV)
Data
Dataset underlying the findings described for the Central Highlands analysis (CSQ/battery drain). (CSV)
Data
Dataset underlying the findings described for Phillip Island analysis (CSQ/battery drain). (CSV)
Article
Mammalian herbivores are typically infected by parasitic nematodes, which are acquired through direct, faecal–oral transmission. These parasites can cause significant production losses in domestic livestock, but much less is known about impacts on wild mammalian hosts. We review three elements of parasitism from the host's perspective: fitness cost...
Article
The case study of the Yanakie Isthmus Coastal Grassy Woodland Restoration Program, Victoria, Australia, illustrates the steps necessary to deliver a complex, long‐term adaptive management project involving a range of stakeholders at a landscape scale. Perspectives of the land manager, scientist and volunteer help to convey successes and lessons lea...
Article
The Jarman–Bell principle seeks to explain why smaller herbivore species tend to select higher-quality forage (high protein and high fiber digestibility) than larger herbivore species. This principle may also provide insight into intraspecific differences in resource use in species with pronounced sexual size dimorphism. We examined the relationshi...
Article
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When resources are limited, organisms face allocation conflicts. Indeterminate growth creates a persistent conflict with reproduction, as growth may enhance future reproduction, but diverts resources from current reproduction. Little is known about allocation trade-offs in mammals with indeterminate growth. We studied growth and reproduction in adu...
Article
Habitat use is the most common dimension along which sympatric species partition resources to reduce competition. We conducted faecal pellet counts at Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, to examine habitat use by an assemblage of mammalian herbivores with disparate evolutionary histories and varying body size: introduced European rabbit (Or...
Article
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Environmental variation affects foraging decisions and resources available for allocation among competing life-history traits. In seasonal environments, variation in breeding phenology leads to differences in relative timing of resource intake and expenditure, which can lead to variation in maternal allocation tactics. Monitoring maternal allocatio...
Article
Captive breeding is fundamental to recovery programs for many endangered species. Most programs seek to maximise retention of genetic variation and minimise inbreeding risk by assigning individuals to pre-determined pairings, but the reproductive outcomes of such pairings are often poor. There is evidence that pairing individuals in captivity that...
Article
In this study we explored the prevalence, type, location and severity of skeletal lesions in six species of Australian marsupial (Macropus giganteus, Notamacropus rufogriseus, Wallabia bicolor, Phascolarctos cinereus, Trichosurus vulpecula and Pseudocheirus peregrinus) from high and low-fluoride environments. Lesions occurred to varying extents in...
Article
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Close behavioural association between mothers and offspring should enhance survival and growth of the young. Eastern grey kangaroos Macropus giganteus are gregarious and live in fission-fusion societies where adult females do not form strong bonds with other females but associate closely with their juvenile offspring. We aimed to determine whether...
Article
Context Assisted colonisation has the potential to protect species from intractable threats within their historical ranges. The Australian mainland subspecies of the eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) is extinct in the wild, with surviving populations restricted to small sites protected by predator-barrier fences. PVA modelling shows that...
Article
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Atmospheric fluorides (gaseous and particulate) are deposited on, and absorbed by, vegetation. Ingested fluoride accumulates in calcified tissues of vertebrates, and if it is excessive, it may lead to dental and skeletal fluorosis. The prevalence, form and severity of the effects vary greatly between species. Foraging strategy can be an important d...
Article
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Foraging time may be constrained by a suite of phenomena including weather, which can restrict a species' activity and energy intake. This is recognized as pivotal for many species whose distributions are known to correlate with climate, including kangaroos, although such impacts are rarely quantified. We explore how differences in shade seeking, a...
Article
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Reproduction can lead to a trade-off with growth, particularly when individuals reproduce before completing body growth. Kangaroos have indeterminate growth and may always face this trade-off. We combined an experimental manipulation of reproductive effort and multi-year monitoring of a large sample size of marked individuals in two populations of...
Article
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Specialist species show stronger resource selection, narrower niches and lower niche overlap than generalist species. We examined ecological specialisation with respect to habitat selection in a macropodid community comprising the western grey kangaroo Macropus fuliginosus, red-necked wallaby M. rufogriseus and swamp wallaby Wallabia bicolor in the...
Article
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Large mammalian herbivores are commonly infected with gastrointestinal helminths. Heavily parasitised hosts are likely to have increased nutritional requirements and would be predicted to increase their food intake to compensate for costs of being parasitised, but experimental tests of the impacts of these parasites on the foraging efficiency of ho...
Data
All original data. Individual faecal egg count data. (XLSX)
Data
All original data. Individual focal behavioural data. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Context Distance sampling is widely used to estimate the size of wildlife populations, including kangaroos. However, the performance of distance-sampling abundance estimates has seldom been evaluated for wild mammal populations of known size. Aims We evaluated the precision, accuracy, bias and interval coverage of abundance estimates from walked li...
Article
The accuracy of population abundance estimates of mammalian herbivores from faecal pellet counts is potentially affected by pellet decay. We collected fresh pellet groups from hog deer (Axis porcinus), European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) and common wombat (Vombatus ur...
Article
Context Reintroduction is a popular tool for conserving endangered species, yet many attempts fail. Soft-release measures, including acclimatisation, have been used for many species around the world, based on the reasoning that gradual and supported reintroductions should improve the success of animals released into an unfamiliar wild environment....
Article
Full-text available
We investigated molar progression as an index of age in the swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) by examining a small sample of known-age specimens. We demonstrate a strong relationship between age and molar index in W. bicolor [log10(age, in days)≤(MI+4.6864)/2.2179, R2≤0.93], which will facilitate more detailed investigation of this species.
Article
Context Fertility control of females with levonorgestrel or deslorelin implants shows promise for managing populations of overabundant eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus). Although these implants have been tested separately in captive and free-ranging kangaroos, there has been no direct comparison under equivalent field conditions. Aims We...
Article
Radio-tracking is a key technique for monitoring threatened species during ecological research and reintroduction programs. In the case of the endangered eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii), it has not been possible to radio-track for extended periods (≥3 months) due to difficulties in reliably and safely attaching radio-transmitters. In th...
Article
Many theories attempt to explain patterns of community organisation among large herbivores. We explored the role of body size, diet type and residence time on habitat use in a community comprising four metatherians (western grey kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus; eastern grey kangaroo, M. giganteus; red-necked wallaby, Notamacropus rufogriseus; swamp...
Article
Context: Restoration of disturbed vegetation communities commonly involves altering vegetation composition and structure, attributes that can influence the suitability of habitat for fauna. Feedbacks may occur whereby changes to the vegetation affect mammalian herbivores, and unintended changes may prevent managers from achieving conservation goals...
Article
Full-text available
Allocation of resources to current reproduction may reduce future reproduction, growth, and survival, but individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition may obscure this fitness cost. In capital breeders, heterogeneity in reproductive success is often related to body mass or condition, underlining the importance of stored reserves for reproductio...
Article
Full-text available
Foraging herbivores face twin threats of predation and parasite infection, but the risk of predation has received much more attention. We evaluated, experimentally, the role of olfactory cues in predator and parasite risk assessment on the foraging behaviour of a population of marked, free-ranging, red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). The w...
Article
Full-text available
Tree-roosting bats are highly social mammals, which often form fission–fusion societies. However, extensive, fine scale data is required to detect and interpret these patterns. We investigated the social structure of Gould’s wattled bats, Chalinolobus gouldii, roosting in artificial roosts (bat-boxes) over a continuous 18-month period. Network anal...
Article
Significantly elevated bone fluoride concentrations have previously been reported in a population of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) resident near a fluoride-emitting aluminum smelter in south-eastern Australia. This paper describes the skeletal and synovial joint lesions observed post mortem in the same sample of kangaroos (n=76). The...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding sexual selection requires adequate measures of reproductive success. In wild mammals, reliable data on variation in male reproductive success are available for very few species. We assessed the distribution of paternities and quantified skew in male reproductive success in 2 populations of a marsupial with strong sexual dimorphism, th...
Article
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Adoption is rare in animals and is usually attributed to kin selection. In a 6-year study of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), 11 of 326 juveniles were adopted. We detected eight adoptions by observing behavioural associations and nursing between marked mothers and young and three more by analysing the relatedness of mothers and young us...
Article
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The Trivers-Willard Hypothesis predicts that, in polygynous and sexually-dimorphic mammals, mothers able to provide a large amount of care should produce more sons. Tests of this prediction, however, have generated equivocal results, possibly because multiple factors, including environmental conditions, simultaneously influence progeny sex ratio. W...
Article
Introduced sambar (Rusa unicolor) occur at high density within the Upper Yarra Catchment, an important watershed for the supply of water to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Contamination by zoonotic pathogens in sambar fecal pellets poses a serious risk to water quality. We describe spatial and temporal patterns in distribution and density of sambar...
Article
Parasite infection is increasingly recognised as a factor shaping the population dynamics, life history and behaviour of hosts. However, before the impacts of parasites on wildlife hosts can be investigated, seasonal patterns in host exposure to parasitic agents must be determined. We examined infection patterns at three sites in Victoria, and comb...
Article
Full-text available
Large mammalian herbivores are commonly infected with gastrointestinal helminths. In many host species, these helminths cause clinical disease and may trigger conspicuous mortality events. However, they may also have subclinical impacts, reducing fitness as well as causing complex changes to host growth patterns and body condition. Theoretically, j...
Article
1. When resources are scarce, female mammals should face a trade-off between lactation and other life-history traits such as growth, survival and subsequent reproduction. Kangaroos are ideal to test predictions about reproductive costs because they may simultaneously lactate and carry a young, and have indeterminate growth and a long breeding seaso...
Data
Bat species found in the West Wyalong region, New South Wales: echolocation characteristics, presence recorded at the Cowal Gold Mine tailings dam and freshwater farm dam during monthly surveys from April 2006 to May 2012. Species distributions from Churchill (2008) and on advice from Pennay (Australasian Bat Society Inc.). Echolocation call charac...
Data
Mean (±s.e.) number of echolocation call sequences per night detected each hour after civil twilight at the tailings dam and farm dam: a spring, b summer, c autumn and d winter. Data are from 212 matched nights recording from February 2011 to May 2012, comprising a total of 25,022 and 17,829 call sequences at the tailings dam and farm dam, respecti...
Article
Full-text available
Most urban mammals are small. However, one of the largest marsupials, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo Macropus giganteus, occurs in some urban areas. In 2007, we embarked on a longitudinal study of this species in the seaside town of Anglesea in southern Victoria, Australia. We have captured and tagged 360 individuals to date, fitting each adult with a c...