Habitat Continuity and Social Organization of the Mountain Pygmy-Possum Restored by Tunnel

Year of publication: 1989

The authors demonstrate that the social organization and survival rates of the mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus), a rare Australian marsupial, had been disrupted because its habitat had been fragmented by roads and other developments within a ski resort. They restored habitat continuity by constructing a corridor leading to 2 tunnels beneath a road that bisected the breeding area. The corridor and tunnels were filled with rocks that imitated the natural habitat of scree. These constructions allowed males to disperse from the female breeding areas; such dispersal is an essential element in the species social organization. After construction the population structure and survival rates in the disturbed area changed to those observed in the undisturbed area. Their results indicate that wildlife managers should consider that dispersal of individuals plays an important role in the social structure of wildlife populations and corridors and tunnels are strategies available for management of wildlife populations in habitats fragmented by roads and other man-made stuctures.

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Cover filmFor hermits and fire salamanders - How municipalities connect habitats in the Alps. DVD, 2012, CIPRA International




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