Tasmanian Mammals

Application for Scientific Permit - Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until the 16th March​​.​​

Applicant: Deakin University

Species/Taxon: Tasmanian Mammals

Location: Tasmania-wide

Title of research: Flight-initiation distances (FID) of the world’s mammals

Aim of project:
1. To document FIDs for as many species of Australian and international mammals as possible, across contexts (e.g., landscape contexts, natural and life histories) 
2. To document FIDs in relation to a range of stimuli which might be encountered by mammals and for which buffer designations would be a useful conservation management tool. 
3. To understand the role of invasive predators in the fear response on native mammals

Understanding how mammals adapt and respond to disturbances (including human disturbance) is critical to informing appropriate management of wildlife, including ecotourism practices that minimise impacts on mammals. 
Determining the capacity of mammals to adapt their fear response to introduced species may be beneficial in understanding how to better support threatened species population recovery in areas where invasive species are present. 
To understand the evolutionary relationship of “fear” in mammals

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: Unknown. Likely up to 2000 - 3000 individual Flight-initiation distances will be assessed across Tasmania and across all available taxa. No individual will be sampled more than once. 

Activities undertaken and methods: An investigator will identify a mammal behaving naturally and not being impacted by another stimuli (i.e., fighting with a conspecific; humans walking past). The investigator will record the distance they are away from the animal and then begin approaching the animal directly. When the animal elects to move, the researcher will stop the approach and record the distance they were from the animal when it chose to flee. The investigator will take some contextual variables of the site (i.e., habitat type, species ID, weather conditions) and then leave the site. 

Fate of animals: Animals will not be restrained, captured, or lured to a site during this experiment. The animal will be able to move of its own free will. An approach of an animal will cease as soon as any movement is detected. No approaches will be conducted in risky environments (i.e., where a mammal may flee into vehicle traffic). 

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Animals are not restrained or lured during our research and are free to move away at their own free will. Only one approach per individual will be conducted.