Travelling fellowship provides new insights for wildlife management

March 25, 2019
TB has been eradicated from elk in Riding Mountain National Park, Canada by reducing elk density, and reducing their interactions with livestock by fencing off winter food supplies and using livestock guardian dogs.

What happens when you try to save an endangered fox living on an island off the California coast? You might save the foxes, but also threaten endangered seabirds in the process.

This is just one of the situations Dr Graham Nugent encountered on his travels to investigate pest control programs, with the support of the Academy’s Graeme Caughley Travelling Fellowship.

Dr Nugent, a wildlife ecologist at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in New Zealand, visited colleagues in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Spain in 2018. His first visit centred around sharing knowledge and techniques for invasive mammal control. His second visit focused on disease surveillance, particularly bovine tuberculosis (TB) in deer, elk and wild pigs.

The visits provided Dr Nugent with valuable insights into pest control tools and the potential efficacy of a TB vaccine in New Zealand, and opportunities for collaboration on disease surveillance.

The Graeme Caughley Travelling Fellowship commemorates the work of Dr GJ Caughley FAA in ecology and wildlife management. Dr Caughley was a chief research scientist with CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology in Canberra until his death in February 1994. The fellowship is financed through the generosity of his friends and colleagues.

Applications are now open for the 2020 round of travelling fellowships

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science

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