Alexandra Ross
Postgraduate Research Student

Alexandra Ross

Postgraduate Research Student
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Improving the Reintroduction Success of Australian Species

Invasive predators like feral cats and foxes are a major threat for many of Australia's species, especially those in the critical weight range (35-5500g). Reserves and sanctuaries build fences to protect vulnerable species, but this can cause prey naiveté, making the population more susceptible to predation if a later release into the wild occurs. How do we protect our endangered species without making them naïve? My research is examining novel strategies being used to reduce prey naiveté and allow wild introductions of locally extinct species.

I am working with bilbies and bettongs at Arid Recovery Reserve in South Australia, comparing the success of populations that have been exposed to varying levels of predator pressure. Can in-situ­ predator exposure decrease prey naiveté and improve survival?

I am also working in the Nailtail Nursery at Avocet Nature Refuge in central Queensland. There are less than 500 bridled nailtail wallabies left in the wild, and the nursery aims to protect vulnerable juveniles without creating a naïve population.

Supervisors

 Publications:

Ross, A. K., M. Letnic, D. T. Blumstein, and K. E. Moseby. 2019. Reversing the effects of evolutionary prey naiveté through controlled predator exposure. Journal of Applied Ecology 56:1761–1769.   Ross, A. K., J. Lowry, A. Elphinstone, and J. C. Lawes. 2019. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in endangered bridled nailtail wallabies and co-occurring species. Australian Mammalogy. CSIRO.

 

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Location
Level 5 EastBiological Sciences South (E26)UNSW, Kensington 2052

Publications

  • Journal articles | 2021
    Ross AK; Lawes JC; Elphinstone A; Stutsel S; Letnic M, 2021, 'Headstarting as a cost-effective conservation strategy for an endangered mammal', Current Biology, vol. 31, pp. R465 - R466, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.017
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ross AK; Lawes JC; Lowry JA; Letnic M, 2021, 'DIY radio-collar attachment for small macropods', Australian Mammalogy, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM20068
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ross A; Lawes J; Elphinstone A; Stutsel S; Letnic M, 2021, 'Headstarting as a cost-effective conservation strategy for an endangered mammal', Current Biology
    Journal articles | 2020
    Ross AK; Lowry J; Elphinstone A; Lawes JC, 2020, 'Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in endangered bridled nailtail wallabies and co-occurring species', Australian Mammalogy, vol. 42, pp. 167 - 170, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM19030
    Journal articles | 2019
    Ross A; Letnic M; Blumstein D; Moseby K, 2019, 'Reversing the effects of evolutionary prey naiveté through controlled predator exposure', Journal of Applied Ecology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13406
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ross A; Lawes J; Letnic M, 2021, 'The impact of headstarting on the survival and naiveté of an endangered terrestrial mammal after return to the wild', Animal Conservation, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acv.12745
  • Conference Papers | 2018
    Ross A; Moseby K; Letnic M; Blumstein D, 2018, 'Using in-situ predation to train a vulnerable prey species', in Proceedings of the 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology, Jyvaskyla University Open Science Centre, presented at 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology, 12 June 2018 - 15 June 2018, http://dx.doi.org/10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107277

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