Invasive Animal Species
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Predation by feral cats <i>Felis sylvestris catus</i> is currently one hypothesized cause for the recent dramatic small mammal declines across northern Australia. We conducted a field experiment to measure the effect of predation by for this areas typically low-density cat populations on the demography of a native small mammal which due to the now natural scarce abundance of small mammals in the wild had to be reintroduced. We established two 12.5-ha enclosures in tropical savanna woodland on Wongalara Sanctuary, south of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Each enclosure was divided in half, with cats allowed access to one half but not the other. We introduced about 20 individuals of <i>Rattus villosissimus</i>, a native rodent, into each of the four compartments (two enclosures x two predator-access treatments) and monitored rat demography by mark-recapture analysis and radio-tracking, and predator incursions by camera surveillance and track and scat searches. The data can be used for the mark-recapture analysis. The radio-tracking data and predator incursions data will be uploaded separately. The Cat and Dingoes camera trap dataset was produced using a heat-in-motion cameras (Reconyx PC800 Hyperfire, Holmen, Wisconsin, USA) around the outside of the perimeter fences to detect predators. At least four (but up to six and always the same number of cameras at a time) cameras were placed as one camera installed at each side on the outside of the fences of each enclosure. Cameras were un-baited, to avoid attracting predators. This one file dataset contains the information on the presence/absence data of cats and dingoes on each day. 'Site' indicates the enclosure the camera was attached to ('Enclosure_I' or Enclosure_II'), 'Camera number' indicates which site the camera was on. Note that between October 2011 and April 2012, Enclosure II had two additional cameras (one facing the front gate and one additional monitoring the lower half of the back fence of the enclosure) which resulted in a total of six cameras for during that time. 'Date' indicates the date the photo(s) was/were taken, 'Photos_recorded' whether the camera was operational or photos were retained (e.g. one SD-cards was lost). And columns 'Dingo' and 'Cat' indicate whether these animals were present that day or not (na = no photos recorded, 0 = not present that day, 1 = present that day).
This dataset contains radio-tracking information on the long-haired rats (<i>Rattus villosissimus</i>). Data was collected between October 2011 and December 2012. It contains the data from enclosure in which a radio-collared rat was released and tracked (Enclosure = 1 or 2), the treatment (Cats = yes or no), the exact date (Date) for when a rat was released with a collar (collared_released), the last time it was recorded (last-time-rec), the time period in months over which the collar frequency was detected (time-collar-detected), the fate of the animal (Fate = unknown, dead or alive), the last location change detected (last_loc_change), based on the latter, the estimated time a rat was assumed alive (estimated_time_alive), the last time a signal was detected from the collar (last_signal detected), the date of the last time an animal was trapped (last_trapped), whether dead remains were found (dead_remains_found = na, yes, or no) and whether the collar was found (collar_found = na, yes, or no).
This one file dataset contains the information on the Long-haired rats (<i>Rattus villosissimus</i>) used in this study, i.e. data that was collected between October 2011 and May 2013. It contains the exact date (Date) for when a rat was released (Trip_type Release, Trip_number 0) or trapped (Trip_type = Seasonal Trapping, Trip >/= 1) in each of the two enclosures (Enclosure = Enclosure I or Enclosure II), as well as the treatments (Treatment regarding the access of cats into the enclosure: high_fence (no access for cats) or low_fence (access for cats), including information on a rats gender (Sex = M (for male) or F (for female), a rats weight (Animal_weight measured in g), body condition (Body_condition theoretically ranging from 1 (emaciated) to 5 (obese), but only categories 2 (underconditioned), 3 (well-conditioned) and 4 (overconditioned) were scored) and individual identification (PIT.ID) as well as whether they had been recaptured (New_firsttripcap_recap indicating whether the animal was new= released/ caught the very first time, was a firsttripcap = captured before, but first captured during a trapping session, or a recap = recaptured during the same trip).