Special Issue "Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Darryl Jones
Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Futures Research Institute and Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia
Interests: urban ecology and management; road ecology; behavioural ecology; human dimensions of wildlife management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most people on Earth now live in cities and town. This has been a remarkably rapid change and is likely to have significant implications for humanity, both ecologically and socially, as well as in our interactions and perceptions of wildlife. Many species are unable to adjust to the dramatic alterations associated with urbanization, while others take full advantage of the many opportunities provided by human-dominated environments. This is resulting in changing interactions between people and wild animals, increasing both the incidence and desire for positive connects with nature, as well as the scale and complexity of wildlife–human conflicts. How we approach these evolving interactions will greatly influence the way we live and coexist in this new urban world.

Original manuscripts that address these issues are invited for this Special Issue, especially those that explore: (1) our attempts to connect with nature in urban areas; (2) innovative approaches to wildlife-human conflicts; and (3) poorly understood or studied wildlife-human interactions.

Prof. Dr. Darryl Jones
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Southeast Queensland
Animals 2016, 6(9), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6090056 - 15 Sep 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4693
Abstract
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if [...] Read more.
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species. It concluded that: (a) the main threats to koalas across southeast Queensland were related to urbanization (vehicle collisions, domestic animal attacks and the disease chlamydiosis); (b) case outcomes varied amongst hospitals, including time spent in care, euthanasia and release rates; and (c) the majority (66.5%) of rescued koalas were either euthanized or died in care with only 27% released back to the wild. The results from this study have important implications for further research into koala rescue and rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of its effectiveness as a conservation strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
Dingoes at the Doorstep: Home Range Sizes and Activity Patterns of Dingoes and Other Wild Dogs around Urban Areas of North-Eastern Australia
Animals 2016, 6(8), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6080048 - 16 Aug 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3900
Abstract
Top-predators around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined with humans, sometimes causing conflict and increasing safety risks in urban areas. In Australia, dingoes and dingo×domesticdoghybridsarecommoninmanyurbanareas,andposeavarietyofhumanhealth and safety risks. However, data on urban dingo ecology is scant. We GPS-collared 37 dingoes in north-easternAustraliaandcontinuouslymonitoredthemeach30minfor11–394days. Mostdingoes [...] Read more.
Top-predators around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined with humans, sometimes causing conflict and increasing safety risks in urban areas. In Australia, dingoes and dingo×domesticdoghybridsarecommoninmanyurbanareas,andposeavarietyofhumanhealth and safety risks. However, data on urban dingo ecology is scant. We GPS-collared 37 dingoes in north-easternAustraliaandcontinuouslymonitoredthemeach30minfor11–394days. Mostdingoes were nocturnal, with an overall mean home range size of 17.47 km2. Overall mean daily distance travelled was 6.86 km/day. At all times dingoes were within 1000 m of houses and buildings. Home ranges appeared to be constrained to patches of suitable vegetation fragments within and around human habitation. These data can be used to reallocate dingo management effort towards mitigating actual conflicts between humans and dingoes in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
Can Citizen Science Assist in Determining Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Presence in a Declining Population?
Animals 2016, 6(7), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6070042 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2301
Abstract
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by [...] Read more.
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies. Secondly, the effectiveness of these guidelines was measured through the implementation of a citizen science project, Koala Quest, for the purpose of estimating the presence of koalas in a fragmented landscape. Consequently, this research aimed to determine whether citizen-collected data can augment traditional science research methods, by comparing and contrasting the abundance of koala sightings gathered by citizen scientists and professional researchers. Based upon the guidelines developed, Koala Quest methodologies were designed, the study conducted, and the efficacy of the project assessed. To combat the high variability of estimated koala populations due to differences in counting techniques, a national monitoring and evaluation program is required, in addition to a standardised method for conducting koala population estimates. Citizen science is a useful method for monitoring animals such as the koala, which are sparsely distributed throughout a vast geographical area, as the large numbers of volunteers recruited by a citizen science project are capable of monitoring a similarly broad spatial range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
Contradiction and Complacency Shape Attitudes towards the Toll of Roads on Wildlife
Animals 2016, 6(6), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6060040 - 17 Jun 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
Most people in the world now live in cities. Urbanisation simultaneously isolates people from nature and contributes to biodiversity decline. As cities expand, suburban development and the road infrastructure to support them widens their impact on wildlife. Even so, urban communities, especially those [...] Read more.
Most people in the world now live in cities. Urbanisation simultaneously isolates people from nature and contributes to biodiversity decline. As cities expand, suburban development and the road infrastructure to support them widens their impact on wildlife. Even so, urban communities, especially those on the peri-urban fringe, endeavour to support biodiversity through wildlife friendly gardens, green spaces and corridors, and conservation estates. On one hand, many who live on city fringes do so because they enjoy proximity to nature, however, the ever increasing intrusion of roads leads to conflict with wildlife. Trauma (usually fatal) to wildlife and (usually emotional and financial) to people ensues. Exposure to this trauma, therefore, should inform attitudes towards wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) and be linked to willingness to reduce risk of further WVC. While there is good anecdotal evidence for this response, competing priorities and better understanding of the likelihood of human injury or fatalities, as opposed to wildlife fatalities, may confound this trend. In this paper we sought to explore this relationship with a quantitative study of driver behaviour and attitudes to WVC from a cohort of residents and visitors who drive through a peri-urban reserve (Royal National Park) on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. We distributed a self-reporting questionnaire and received responses from 105 local residents and 51 visitors to small townships accessed by roads through the national park. We sought the respondents’ exposure to WVC, their evasive actions in an impending WVC, their attitudes to wildlife fatalities, their strategies to reduce the risk of WVC, and their willingness to adopt new ameliorative measures. The results were partitioned by driver demographics and residency. Residents were generally well informed about mitigation strategies but exposure led to a decrease in viewing WVC as very serious. In addition, despite most respondents stating they routinely drive slower when collision risk is high (at dusk and dawn), our assessment of driving trends via traffic speeds suggested this sentiment was not generally adhered to. Thus we unveil some of the complexities in tackling driver’s willingness to act on reducing risk of WVC, particularly when risk of human trauma is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
“Vicious, Aggressive Bird Stalks Cyclist”: The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) in the News
Animals 2016, 6(5), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6050029 - 26 Apr 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2368
Abstract
The Australian Magpie ( Cracticus tibicen ) is a common bird found in urban Australian environments where its nest defense behavior during spring brings it into conflict with humans. This article explores the role of print media in covering this conflict. Leximancer software [...] Read more.
The Australian Magpie ( Cracticus tibicen ) is a common bird found in urban Australian environments where its nest defense behavior during spring brings it into conflict with humans. This article explores the role of print media in covering this conflict. Leximancer software was used to analyze newspaper reports about the Australian Magpie from a sample of 634 news stories, letters-to-the editor and opinion pieces, published in newspapers from around Australia between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2014. The results confirm that stories about these birds are primarily published in the daily regional and weekly suburban press, and that the dominant story frame concerns the risk of “swooping” behavior to cyclists and pedestrians from birds protecting their nests during the spring breeding season. The most prominent sources used by journalists are local and state government representatives, as well as members of the public. The results show that the “swooping season” has become a normal part of the annual news cycle for these publications, with the implication that discourse surrounding the Australian Magpie predominantly concerns the risk these birds pose to humans, and ignores their decline in non-urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
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