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Mammal conservation in a changing world: Can urban gardens play a role?

Van Helden, B.E., Close, P.G. and Steven, R. (2020) Mammal conservation in a changing world: Can urban gardens play a role? Urban Ecosystems, 23 (3). pp. 555-567.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-020-00935-1
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Abstract

Urbanisation threatens biodiversity globally, yet some animal populations persist within urban landscapes. Conservation of urban wildlife has prioritised parks and remnant bushland as critical habitat and neglected the role that residential gardens offer for conservation. We explored the potential for residential gardens to assist the conservation of mammals using an online questionnaire administered to residents of two case study cities in Australia to identify how widespread mammals in cities can be, which garden features promote mammal presence, and if the features varied among species with different habitat requirements. From 649 responses we found that three mammal species with different habitat requirements occurred in residential gardens throughout the city landscape. Garden features promoting mammal presence were consistent with broad ecological and habitat requirements of each species, but differed among both species and regions. Our study demonstrates that residential gardens offer a valuable habitat for mammals, and that garden features could be manipulated to promote use of gardens by these species. By considering gardens in urban planning and management actions aimed at conserving urban wildlife, residential gardens offer additional habitat to parks, roadside vegetation and urban bushland, and can play a significant role in biodiversity conservation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64976
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