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Low-density koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations in the mulgalands of south-west Queensland. III. Broad-scale patterns of habitat use

 

B.J. Sullivan1,2, G.S. Baxter1, and A.T. Lisle3

 

1School of Natural and Rural Systems Management, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia

2Present Address: South-west Atlantic Seabirds at Sea Team, Falklands Conservation, Jetty Centre, Stanley, Falkland Islands

3School of Agronomy and Horticulture, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

To date there have been few quantitative studies of the distribution of, and relative habitat utilisation by, koalas in the mulgalands of Queensland. To examine these parameters we applied habitat-accesibility and relative habitat-utilisation indices to estimates of faecal pellet density sampled at 149 sites across the region. Modelling the presence of pellets using logistic regression showed that the potential range of accessible habitats and relative habitat use varied greatly across the region, with rainfall being probably the most important determinant of distribution. Within that distribution, landform and rainfall were both important factors affecting habitat preference. Modelling revealed vastly different probabilities of finding a pellet under trees depending on the tree species, canopy size, and location within the region.