Abundance and spatial distribution of five small mammals at a local scale
Australian Mammal Society Inc.
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
In an area of approximately 210 ha 5 km west of South Hedland in Western Australia the population density of Dasycercus cristicauda (mulgara) was higher than 0.23 per ha, Dasykaluta rosamondae (little red kaluta) was higher than 1.88 per ha and Pseudomys hermannsburgensis (sandy inland mouse) was higher than 4.90 per ha. Densities for D. rosamondae and P. hermannsburgensis were appreciably higher than those reported elsewhere in the Pilbara. D. rosamondae and P. hermannsburgensis appear to be evenly distributed across the site, whereas D. cristicauda were concentrated in the centre and the western edge away from areas of higher vehicle traffic. The spatial distribution of Pseudomys desertor (desert mouse) was focussed on two areas. A trapping effort of 9,900 trap-nights appears to have captured most of the D. cristicauda but not all of the D. rosamondae, indicating that their density was higher than reported above. Approximately five D. cristicauda were caught per 1000 trap-nights, and given that this species was not evenly spread across the site, these data suggest that the survey effort necessary to detect the presence of D. cristicauda needs to be much higher than is the current practice of environmental consultants.