BDBSA Project Metadata Detail

Survey/Project Number: 396          Total No. of Sites: 2
Survey/Project Name: Possum spotlighting in Murray River National Park
Abstract: Friends of Riverland Parks conducted spotlighting surveys (began in 2002) to determine the status of the Common Brushtail Possum in the Lock 4 section of the Katarapko National Park and Calperum Station in the Riverland. The first 5 surveys revealed a population density in the area surveyed equivalent to that which other surveys in other parts of Australia have recorded. In order to establish what animals are present in other parts of the Katarapko National Park, the Friends of Riverland parks have commenced a series of surveys. The Lock 4 section of the park was selected for the first of the possum surveys, to not only record the presence of this marsupial, but also to compare the numbers from two locations in that part of the park. Glossop High School has a structure on the inlet creek that enables a backwater in the area to be periodically flooded and dried out to resemble the original regime in the backwater. Nearby is the main channel of the River Murray that is now a permanent wetland. Transects have been established adjacent to each of these wetlands to record Brushtail Possums. These counts will also form the basis for monitoring both areas for any differences due to the nature of the adjacent wetland. Monitoring any changes that may result from the different stages of the wetting and drying cycles will also be of interest.
Start Date: 01/03/2002      End Date: 01/03/2013
Survey Type: Vertebrates only
Study Area Description: Murraylands, Katarapko National Park. River and Billabong (Ngak Indau) transect locations. Transects established adjacent to each of the two wetlands. Each transect supports similar vegetation and each follows the edge of its respective wetland.
         Vegetation: *** No vegetation survey objectives recorded
         Fauna: One transect of one km length was established adjacent to each of the two wetlands. Each transect supports similar vegetation and each follows the edge of its respective wetland. (For purposes of identifying both transects in BDBSA - River transect has been entered as Transect A and Billabong transect has been entered as Transect B). Each coordinate is taken from the start of each transect. About one hour after dark a group of observers walk slowly along the transect using a portable spotlight to locate any possums up to 25 metres either side of the path. Only possums detected within the 50 metre wide transect are used for statistical purposes, but any other possums or other animals seen during the survey are recorded. On advice received from the regional ecologist, the March 2003 survey was conducted over three consecutive nights. The total number of possums recorded during the five surveys is relatively uniform with total numbers varying from 11 to 14. However, the numbers recorded for each transect indicate quite a different story. It is too early yet to say whether there are any connections between the status of the wetting and drying cycles in Ngak Indau.
         Vegetation: *** No vegetation methodology recorded
         Fauna: *** No vertebrate methodology recorded

Data Distribution Rules: Public
Project Basis: Fauna : Fauna species/population Study (ie trapping records over time period for species study). NOTE:NON Std Svy methodology may have been used.
Information Authority: Department for Environment and Heritage (BDBSA:Murraylands) - Regional Ecologist