Research ecologist Matthew Stanton is an expert on Koala ecology and management, with 26 years’ experience in researching the ecology of Australian vertebrate fauna, particularly in regards to habitat requirements and relationships of forest fauna and threatened species.
Matthew is the co-author of a new research paper, published this month in the online journal Ecology and Evolution, entitled Development and field validation of a regional, management-scale habitat model: A koala Phascolarctos cinereus case study.
The paper describes how Matthew and his colleagues – including lead author Dr Bradley Law, principal research scientist, NSW DPI – developed a habitat model that could be used to guide Koala management.
To ensure the model was fit for purpose, it was validated using independently-collected field data. This demonstrated a linear increase in Koala occupancy with higher modeled habitat suitability, indicating that the model is fit for application at relevant management scales.
With increased confidence in the model of Koala distribution and abundance, Koala conservation measures can be applied with a corresponding increase in efficiency and effectiveness. Efficient management and targeting of ongoing research will be vital if the continuing decline of Koala populations is to be arrested in time to save this iconic species.