Karl Vernes

Karl Vernes
University of New England (Australia) | UNE · Discipline of Ecosystem Management

PhD (James Cook University)

About

150
Publications
60,638
Reads
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2,013
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - March 2015
University of New England (Australia)
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2003 - December 2016
University of New England (Australia)
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2002 - December 2002
James Cook University
Position
  • Lecturer (B)

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Full-text available
During a short camera trapping survey along an altitudinal gradient in central Bhutan, we detected two colour morphs of the Asiatic golden cat Catopuma temminckii socially interacting in the same photo frames. A series of camera trap photos showed an individual of the typical golden morph and another of the considerably rarer spotted or ‘ocelot’ mo...
Article
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This paper provides an historical review of the technological evolution of camera trapping as a zoological survey tool in Australia. Camera trapping in Australia began in the 1950s when purpose-built remotely placed cameras were used in attempts to rediscover the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus). However, camera traps did not appear in Australia...
Article
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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
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We examined predation activity throughout Bhutan by tiger (Panthera tigris), common leop-ard (Panthera pardus), snow leopard (Uncia uncia) and Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) on a variety of livestock types using data gathered over the first two years (2003–2005) of a compensation scheme for livestock losses. One thousand three hundred and...
Article
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The diet of dingoes (Canis familiaris dingo) in the Australian Wet Tropics was examined by analyzing 383 dingo scats collected throughout the region for the presence of mammal prey remains. The scats yielded 29 native and 4 introduced mammal prey species from 14 families. The most important species in terms of percentage occurrence in the scats wer...
Article
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Context. Rodents in many parts of the world perform an important ecosystem function as dispersers of mycorrhizal fungal spores. These fungi are vital to nutrient uptake in plant communities, but many of the fungal taxa that form these associations have fruiting bodies that are reliant on animals for their spore dispersal. Aims. Numerous studies hav...
Article
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Native predators are increasingly exposed to habitat loss and fragmentation globally. When developing conservation and management strategies, it is important to determine whether fragmented landscapes can still support similar predator densities to intact areas, and thereby constitute important habitat for these species. The spotted-tailed quoll (D...
Article
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The consumption of fungi by animals is a significant trophic interaction in most terrestrial ecosystems, yet the role mammals play in these associations has been incompletely studied. In this review, we compile 1 154 references published over the last 146 years and provide the first comprehensive global review of mammal species known to eat fungi (...
Article
In the absence of systematic research institutions and local or long-term resident systematists added by Buddhist culture that discourages lethal sampling of animals, scientific collections are particularly sparse in Bhutan. Consequently, less charismatic taxa such as the reptile and amphibian fauna of Bhutan, including the Eastern-Himalayas, are p...
Article
Mammals are important sources of nutrients to cave ecosystems, and in some circumstances, caves may be an essential resource for mammals. Few studies, however, have focused on the use of caves by terrestrial mammals. The Yucatán Peninsula encompasses an extensive carbonate karst region that includes the world's largest underwater cave system. Fores...
Preprint
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Bhutan has an extensive protected area network and people living inside are integral partners with the conservation landscape. Despite this, little is known on local people's traditional knowledge, cultural beliefs, and perceptions on wildlife. We investigated drivers of local knowledge and cultural significance of the red panda Ailurus fulgens thr...
Article
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We investigated patterns of species richness and co-occurrence in a montane carnivore community within a forested landscape in Bhutan that ranged in altitude from 2000 to 3760 m above sea level, and covered an area of approximately 140 km2. Species were detected by unbaited camera traps set along animal trails and baited camera traps set away from...
Article
Context. Species Distribution Models (SDM) can be used to investigate and understand relationships between species occurrence and environmental variables, so as to predict potential distribution. These predictions can facilitate conservation actions and management decisions. Oxley Wild Rivers National Park (OWRNP) is regarded as an important strong...
Article
Temporal partitioning between ecologically similar species facilitates co-occurrence and can influence the structure of mammalian assemblages. We studied diel activity patterns of two sympatric forest-dwelling wallabies, the red-legged pademelon (Thylogale stigmatica) and red-necked pademelon (Thylogale thetis) in eastern Australia to better unders...
Article
Habitat fragmentation can have detrimental impacts on native predators globally through the loss of habitat and associated impacts from introduced predators.The endangered spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is the largest marsupial carni-vore on mainland Australia and is sympatric with an introduced predator, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Spo...
Article
Red-legged pademelons (Thylogale stigmatica) occur as several subspecies in eastern Australia. The northern subspecies (T. stigmatica stigmatica) in north Queensland is considered common; the southern subspecies (T. stigmatica wilcoxi) in northeastern New South Wales is, by comparison, rare and is listed as threatened. Activity patterns should also...
Article
Little is known about the diets and ecology of New Guinea's 14 bandicoot species. In order to better understand the diet and digestive morphology of these marsupials, we reviewed the literature, studied the dental morphology, conducted analysis of gastrointestinal contents, and measured the digestive tracts of: Echymipera clara, E. davidi, E. kalub...
Article
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Koonchera Dune is a prominent sand ridge fringed by a complex of ephemeral swamps and open plains on the edge of Sturt Stony Desert, northeastern South Australia. In 1931 mammalogist Hedley Herbert Finlayson rediscovered the desert rat-kangaroo or ngudlukanta (Caloprymnus campestris) here, and also captured lesser bilby or yallara (Macrotis leucura...
Article
The desert rat-kangaroo or ‘ngudlukanta’ (Caloprymnus campestris) was once sparsely distributed in the Lake Eyre Basin of north-eastern South Australia and adjacent parts of Queensland, but has not been collected since the 1930s. However, numerous reported sightings, including some recent, provide some hope that it may still be extant. In 2018 and...
Chapter
The parma wallaby (Notomacropus parma Waterhouse, 1846) is a small macropodid marsupial found in the temperate wet forests of south-eastern Australia. It is one of the most understudied critical weight range mammals in Australia, with the only detailed published ecological research being conducted in the 1970s. This chapter reports on the inadequac...
Article
Thirty camera traps were deployed for a total of 4179 trap-nights between January and June 2020 as part of a project assessing post-fire recovery of pademelons (Thylogale spp.) in northern New South Wales. By chance, one camera documented a site that was highly productive for the ectomycorrhizal fungal genus Amanita. This camera provided a rare opp...
Article
We studied diets of feral cats (Felis catus), dingoes (Canis familiaris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in desert environments in north-eastern South Australia by analysing prey remains in opportunistically-collected scats. Four major landscapes were sampled (Simpson Desert, Sturt Stony Desert, Strzelecki Desert – Cooper Creek and Diamantina River)...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of mammal‐fungal interactions, tools to estimate the mammal‐assisted dispersal distances of fungi are lacking. Many mammals actively consume fungal fruiting bodies, the spores of which remain viable after passage through their digestive tract. Many of these fungi form symbiotic relationships with trees and provide an array of...
Article
The myxomycetes associated with samples of dead plant material collected from arid habitats in northeastern South Australia were investigated with the use of the moist chamber culture technique. Since myxomycetes are usually associated with relatively moist conditions, one would not anticipate them to be very common in arid areas. However, 69% of t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Rodents are the most widespread and diverse order of vertebrate mycophagists and are key to the dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi. Rodents consume and subsequently disperse fungi through their feces on every continent except Antarctica. This study examines the fungal taxa consumed by the Hastings River mouse (Pseudomys oralis), an endangered Australia...
Article
We assessed local knowledge of and attitudes towards a large, endemic bovid, the Bhutan takin Budorcas whitei , within its seasonal range in Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan. Using semi-structured questionnaires, data were collected in March 2015 from interviews with 169 park residents. A conditional inference tree analysis was used to explore ass...
Article
Threat assessment is critical to species conservation and management planning, because prior identification and assessment of key threats to conservation planning can assist in developing appropriate interventions or strategies. Comprehensive threat assessments are currently lacking for many threatened primates. In this paper, we classify and rank...
Article
The desert rat-kangaroo (Caloprymnus campestris) is known from specimens collected at just a few localities in north-eastern South Australia. We examined a C. campestris skin (M21674) in the collection of the Australian Museum, that was collected by Henry James Hillier at Lake Killalpaninna in South Australia between 1902 and 1905. This is a new lo...
Article
Goodenough Island is in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea and is located off of New Guinea's eastern coast. Goodenough Island has a unique yet poorly studied mammal community. Previous dietary study of mycophagous New Guinean forest wallabies showed that Goodenough Island's endemic black forest wallaby (Dorcopsis atrata) ate at least 12 ta...
Article
Full-text available
We present ClassifyMe a software tool for the automated identification of animal species from camera trap images. ClassifyMe is intended to be used by ecologists both in the field and in the office. Users can download a pre-trained model specific to their location of interest and then upload the images from a camera trap to a laptop or workstation....
Article
Full-text available
The distribution of the Vulnerable Bengal loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) in Bhutan is poorly known, mainly because of its nocturnal and arboreal habits. IUCN has omitted Bhutan as a Bengal loris range country despite its reported occurrence in the country by a few studies. To comprehensively document sightings of this species in Bhutan, we intervie...
Article
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Macrofungi are an important food source for many mammals, birds and arthropods; in return, these animals disperse numerous species of fungi through their scats. Many of the fungi that are important as food also perform key functions in the ecosystem through nutrient cycling. Research on associations between reptiles and fungi has primarily focused...
Article
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More than 51% of Bhutan is in a protected area (PA) network and our study demonstrates its effectiveness in conserving large and medium mammal species. We conducted camera trapping in Bhutan’s PAs, biological corridors (BCs) and intervening non-protected areas (NPAs) to investigate the richness and diversity of mammals, and assess the network’s eff...
Article
Full-text available
Symbiotic associations between mammals and fungi have been well documented and are widely regarded as vital to ecosystem functions around the world. Symbioses between birds and fungi are also ecologically vital but have been far less thoroughly studied. This manuscript is the first to review a wide range of symbiotic associations between birds and...
Article
Reliable population estimates are lacking for many South Asian primate species, including the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), which is endangered and restricted to Bhutan and northeast India. Although well studied in India, few studies exist on this species in Bhutan. In November 2017, we undertook a nationwide survey of golden langurs in Bhut...
Article
Reliable population estimates are lacking for many South Asian primate species, including the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), which is endangered and restricted to Bhutan and northeast India. Although well studied in India, few studies exist on this species in Bhutan. In November 2017, we undertook a nationwide survey of golden langurs in Bhut...
Article
Despite the golden langur’s (Trachypithecus geei) endangered and totally protected status, local awareness and attitude toward this species is poorly understood. We investigated local awareness and attitude in Bhutan by interviewing 1,143 households in the districts of Dagana, Sarpang, Trongsa, Tsirang, and Zhemgang, and analyzing data through a co...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present ClassifyMe a software tool for the automated identification of animal species from camera trap images. ClassifyMe is intended to be used by ecologists both in the field and in the office. Users can download a pre-trained model specific to their location of interest and then upload the images from a camera trap to a laptop or workstation....
Preprint
Bhutan’s network of protected area and biological corridors within the Eastern Himalayan region still harbor a rich mammal community through Bhutan’s government’s ability to reconcile biodiversity conservation goals with social and economic issues. However, further realignment of Bhutan’s protected and biological corridor boundaries to capture area...
Preprint
The Kingdom of Bhutan has high mammal species richness from largely intact forests geographically centered within a global biodiversity hotspot. Despite considerable advances in documenting the occurrence and distribution of mammal fauna in Bhutan, knowledge gaps remain on distribution, composition, and the functional role of mammal species along f...
Article
Full-text available
We observed foraging behaviour and collected 18 fecal samples of Superb Lyrebirds Menura novaehollandiae at two National Park locations in high elevation Nothofagus forests in the New England Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. Based on microscopic examination of faecal samples, we provide the first report of mycophagy by this bird species. W...
Article
Context: Accurate estimates of abundance are extremely useful for wildlife management and conservation. Estimates generated from distance sampling are typically considered superior to strip transects and abundance indices, as the latter do not account for probability of detection, thereby risking significant error. Aim: To compare density estimate...
Article
Full-text available
We surveyed eastern grey kangaroos at four locations at the Northern Beaches region of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, to estimate densities in this growing peri-urban region. This region is considered a regional hotspot for human–kangaroo conflict, with numerous kangaroo-related incidents in recent years. Direct counts of kangaroos were undertaken...
Article
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The increasing kangaroo occurrence in expanding peri-urban areas can be problematic when kangaroos become aggressive towards people and present a collision risk to motor vehicles. An improved understanding on kangaroo spatial and temporal activity patterns in the peri-urban environment is essential to manage kangaroo⁻human conflict. In this study,...
Article
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Context. Identification of key threats to endangered species is vital for devising effective management strategies, but may be hindered when relevant data is limited. A population viability approach may overcome this problem. Aims. We aimed to determine the population viability of endangered northern bettongs (Bettongia tropica) in northeastern Aus...
Article
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This study examined dog and cat demographics, roaming behaviours, and interspecific interactions in a remote Aboriginal island community using multiple methods. Our results revealed temporal differences between the roaming behaviours of dogs, cats, and wildlife. Dogs showed crepuscular behaviour, being active around dawn (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) an...
Article
Ecologists have primarily focused their attention on how predator loss influences ecosystem structure and function in intact ecosystems, but rarely tested these ecological concepts in agricultural landscapes. We conducted a study in western Bhutan on the inter-specific dynamics between tigers, leopards, and dholes, and their subsequent impact on li...
Article
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Context: When measuring grazing impacts of vertebrates, the density of animals and time spent foraging are important. Traditionally, dung pellet counts are used to index macropod grazing density, and a direct relationship between herbivore density and foraging impact is assumed. However, rarely are pellet deposition rates measured or compared with...
Article
There is little information on the underlying causes of wildlife crop damage, especially in agro-pastoralist communities situated close to, or inside, protected areas that are frequented by domestic livestock. Knowledge on wild ungulate distribution near crop field boundaries, and how it is affected by cattle that dominate the landscape, may offer...
Article
Hypogeous sequestrate (truffle-like) fungi rely primarily on consumption by mammals for dispersal. Most truffle-like fungi are ectomycorrhizal, making mammalian dispersers essential to the maintenance of plant-fungal relationships, soil fungal diversity and ecosystem functioning. Australia has the highest current global rate of mammalian extinction...
Article
Full-text available
The data reported here support the manuscript Nuske et al. [1]. Searches were made for quantitative data on the occurrence of fungi within dietary studies of Australian mammal species. The original location reported in each study was used as the lowest grouping variable within the dataset. To standardise the data and compare dispersal events from p...
Article
Full-text available
The Bhutan Takin Budorcas whitei Lydekker, 1907 is endemic to Bhutan and it is categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While the other Takin species have been studied in China (Golden Takin B. bedfordi; Sichuan Takin B. tibetana) and India (Mishmi Takin B. taxicolor), only one study has focused on the Bhutan Takin. In...
Article
The Bhutan Takin Budorcas whitei Lydekker, 1907 is endemic to Bhutan and it is categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While the other Takin species have been studied in China (Golden Takin B. bedfordi; Sichuan Takin B. tibetana) and India (Mishmi Takin B. taxicolor), only one study has focused on the Bhutan Takin. In...
Article
Full-text available
Wilson, D. E., and R. A. Mittermeier (eds.). 2015. Handbook of Mammals of the World, Vol. 5: Monotremes and Marsupials . Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain, 799 pp. ISBN: 978-84-96553-99-6, price (hard cover), €169.00. Much praise has already been given in reviews of the 4 preceding volumes of Handbook of the Mammals of the World (HMW) for their exce...
Chapter
Full-text available
With a rich biodiversity due to its location at the juncture of two biogeographical realms, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is renowned for its unique concept of ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH) as an economic development policy and indicator of social well-being. Nature conservation is a key pillar of GNH, manifested through a comprehensive protec...
Article
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This is the first comprehensive camera trap study to examine hollow usage by wildlife in the canopy of trees. Eighty cameras directed at tree hollows were deployed across eight sites in nine species of eucalypt in north-east New South Wales. In total, 38 species (including 21 birds, 9 mammals and 8 reptiles) were recorded at hollow entrances over a...
Article
Full-text available
Australian temperate forests support a high diversity of truffle-like fungi, and a rich assortment of mammals that feed upon them. We sampled seasonal diets of four sympatric mammals (two rodents, two marsupials) in an eastern Australian wet sclerophyll forest and identified all dietary fungi. Fifty-two different spore types were found in diets, mo...