Spatial variability in terrestrial fauna surveys; a case study from the goldfields of Western Australia
Royal Society of Western Australia Inc.
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Although spatial variability in fauna assemblages has been discussed in the literature for many decades, terrestrial fauna surveys undertaken to support environmental impact assessments (EIAs) in Western Australia (WA) rarely adequately address this issue when undertaking surveys of the terrestrial vertebrate ecosystems. The specific objective of this investigation was to describe the spatial variability in the trapped terrestrial vertebrate fauna for five vegetation assemblages in the semi-arid northern goldfields region of WA. The trapped terrestrial vertebrate assemblage differed significantly among replicate sites in both the composition and relative abundance in each of the five habitats. A high proportion of species trapped were singletons and doubletons, and many species demonstrated a patchy distribution within habitats. Both of these parameters provide a strong case for addressing spatial diversity in terrestrial fauna surveys undertaken to support EIAs.