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Utilisation of stranded marine fauna washed ashore on K’gari (Fraser Island), Australia, by dingoes

For those of you interested in keeping up with current research, this paper was recently published in the Australian Journal of Zoology by Linda Behrendorff, Luke K.-P. Leung and Benjamin L. Allen. (more…)

Scientists to follow up Cooloola BioBlitz moth

The discovery of a new species of Boronia Moth during the Cooloola BioBlitz brought one of Australia’s leaders in scientific research to Cooloola next Month to follow up the discovery. (more…)

Fraser Island -K’gari Symposium: Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Understanding

 

The Fraser-K’gari Island symposium is being held at the Hervey Bay campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast on the 7-8 June 2018. (more…)

Dingoes – A highly evolved predator

There is no question that the dingo is a very capable predator.  Predators often exhibit highly intelligent and adaptable behaviour and hunting techniques to catch, subdue or kill prey. (more…)

Helping to Build the GSS Research Fund

As part of its fundraising efforts to build the Research Fund, FIDO is offering a series of Cruises in the Strait to enable people to have a personal experience of Great Sandy Strait.  (more…)

Saving Great Sandy Strait

Great Sandy Strait is already listed as a Ramsar Wetland of International Significance, but along with Cooloola, it is has been nominated for inclusion on Australia’s National Heritage list as well as the World Heritage Tentative List.  Great Sandy Strait and its natural integrity are vitally important to Fraser Island.  There is now a groundswell of public concern over the future of Great Sandy Strait if the proposed Colton coal mine proceeds, as it currently has approval to do.   (more…)

Ships Ahoy! Research to Focus on Cruise Tourism

Cruise tourism has witnessed unprecedented growth rates amidst greater interest in terms of new destinations and ships with an impressive array of features. There is some agreement within industry that the sector is likely to continue its growth trajectory given that many cruise tourists are sold to the idea of all-inclusive and value-based pricing strategies employed by many operators. (more…)

Central Station Small Mammal Survey

sedgefrogs

Cooloola sedgefrogs (Litoria cooloolensis) image taken by Harry Hines ©

During the recent acoustic recorder deployment on K’gari, fellow colleague, amphibian expert and all round authority on Queensland’s plants and animals, Harry Hines joined Linda Behrendorff and Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff in an opportunity to do some small mammal capture and release in the Central Station area. They were rewarded with a good number of captures that included the usual visitors, Fawn-footed melomys (M. Cervinipes), Bush rat (R. fuscipes) and Yellow-footed antechinus (A. Flavipes). Both antechinus females had pouches indicating recent young.

The team also took the opportunity to pull the rarely used harp trap out of its hiding hole in the NRM shed, recording two Eastern long-eared micro bats (Nyctophilus bifax). This was followed up by a Wangoolba boardwalk survey sighting melomys and rattus species, long finned eels, cat fish and a short-eared possum (Trichosurus caninus) that casually walked the banister.  (more…)

Fraser Island Fauna Survey

Since departing Fraser Island 16 years ago, it was great to get back there earlier this year to renew acquaintanceships with old friends and make some new ones. I was over to assist a good friend and retired herpetologist, Harald Ehmann, to look for the endangered Fraser Island endemic, the Fraser Island Sand Skink Coggeria naufragus. I was on the island from the 8-13 February this year and Harald three days longer.

(more…)

New Research Alert!

The Journal of Coastal Research recently featured two articles that might be of interest to readers of this newsletter. If the summaries below whet your appetite for more information, pdfs of these papers are provided below.

A review of coastal dunefield evolution in southeastern Queensland

Graziela Miot de Silva and James Shulmeister

This paper summarises existing research on dunefield progression on the southern coast of Queensland. The aim is to identify the possible controlling factors in the dunefields’ evolution. Gaining an understanding of dunefield progression in southern Queensland, and the relative contributions of sea level change and climate to phases of activity, is made especially interesting by the length of this system’s records of Quaternary dunefield evolution. At the same time, however, the chronological sequence of these phases is largely unknown. This study pieces together what is known and assumed about the progression of these phases and the triggers that may have initiated them, as an important step towards more thoroughly understanding this system and what it has to say about the relative thresholds of sea level change and climate in dunefield progression and what might cause one factor or the other to dominate in dune emplacement phases.

This paper can be downloaded in PDF format, from: MiotdaSilvaShulmeister

Ground penetrating radar observations of present and former coastal environments, Great Sandy National Park, Queensland, Australia – Focus on Moon Point, Fraser Island

Allen M. Gontz, Adrian B. McCallum, Patrick T. Moss, and James Shulmeister

This paper reports on a subset of data collected from a larger study to investigate past shoreline complexes of Fraser Island and the northern end of the Cooloola Sand Mass. In this paper, the focus of discussion is information gathered from 10 reconnaissance-level ground penetrating radar lines in the Moon Point area of Fraser Island during July 2014. Using the radar data, the authors characterise the site and its units, discuss some aspects of its likely development, and draw initial conclusions about its age. Building on this important first step in understanding the dynamics and evolution of this system, future work will focus on developing chronologies associated with the GPR stratigraphy, extract climate proxies from preserved coastal systems and reconstruct the paleogeography.

This paper can be downloaded in PDF format, from: Gontzetal-2016-jcr

A third study of interest, led by USC student Marion Howard, was recently published in PLOSOne. 

Patterns of phylogenetic diversity of subtropical rainforest of the Great Sandy Region, Australia indicate long term climatic refugia

Marion G. Howard, William J. F. McDonald, Paul I. Forster, W. John Kress, David Erickson, Daniel P. Faith, Alison Shapcott

This study tests the patterns of rainforest diversity and relatedness in the Great Sandy Region at a fine scale to investigate why this region exhibits greater phylogenetic evenness compared with rainforests on white sands in other parts of the world. From the findings, Fraser Island and Cooloola show evidence of having been rainforest refugia, and the Great Sandy Region’s significance for the conservation of phylogenetic variability is emphasised.

This paper can be downloaded in PDF format, from: PlosoneHowardetal 2016

Finally, Linda Behrendorff (QPWS) and colleagues have a new paper out through Nature.

Insects for breakfast and whales for dinner: the diet and body condition of dingoes on Fraser Island (K’gari)

Linda Behrendorff, Luke K.-P. Leung, Allan McKinnon, Jon Hanger, Grant Belonje, Jenna Tapply, Darryl Jones & Benjamin L. Allen

This paper represents the first published study characterising the diet of the Fraser Island (K’gari) dingo population, and discusses the body condition and health of this population relative to other dingo populations. According to the results, the K’gari dingo population is capable of exploiting a wide variety of food sources, from insects to whales. Thus, far from supporting the anecdotal contention that the K’gari dingos are ‘starving’ or in ‘poor condition’, these findings reveal the K’gari dingo population to be in good to excellent physical condition and health.

This paper can be viewed online, at: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep23469