Light technology recreates ‘ebor castles’ to save homeless lizards

Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-08524-2 “width =” 800 “height =” 530 “/>

A typical skink habitat in the Western Central Australian region; (A) an open eucalyptus forest, where piles of wood were sparsely distributed; (B and C) examples of trunk piles inhabited by skink colonies; and (D) young milkmen running in one of the holes in an occupied pile of wood. Photos: H Bradley. Credit: Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-08524-2

The endangered western “wooden castles” that house endangered tail families in the West End attract wild and native predators as Curtin researchers use light-detecting technology to recreate their habitat in a potential game change for animal conservation.

The researchers used light-sensing and remote-sensing (LiDAR) technology, commonly used in mines, to create high-resolution scans of many wood “castles” to identify, repeat, and support exactly what lizards liked about certain wood “castles.” with future habitat restoration.

Chief Researcher PhD. Holly Bradley, a student at Curtin School of Molecular and Life Sciences, said the study showed that LiDAR was an accurate and effective tool that could be applied worldwide to aid in animal conservation efforts.

“The western tail is an unusual reptile because it has a defensive tail and lives in family groups in wooden ‘castles’ made up of fallen tree debris, but they don’t all seem to like it. ‘Castles’ and sometimes they live alone,” Bradley said.

“LiDAR is a device that uses lasers to create an accurate 3D model and is often used in small aircraft or drones to map landform structures for the mining industry.

“This is the first time that LiDAR technology has been used in this way to help characterize the microhabitat requirements of a particular endangered species. to help look after the future of the tail corner. “

Associate Professor Bill Bateman said the skink lives in the dry land of Western Australia, a region with many threats, including active mining operations.

“We have identified that crows and crows are aimed at these wooden castles and although they are local birds, they can be very abundant around mining landfills,” Bateman said. “Skink can also be harmed by wild cats that hunt babies and adults.

“For the continued survival of the endangered tail tail in the Western Hemisphere, introduced prey must be managed and resources such as landfills for mining operations must be managed so that local prey does not become too frequent.”

Storing these family-focused lizards means moving them to new homes, but it’s not that easy

More information:
Holly S. Bradley et al, Predators in a mineing landscape: Threats to a behaviourally unique, endangered lizard, Southern Ecology (2022). DOI: 10.1111 / aec.13195

Holly S. Bradley et al, revealing the microhabitat requirements of an endangered lizard specialist with LiDAR, Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-08524-2

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