Lighting technology recreates ‘log castles’ to save stray lizards

Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-08524-2 “width =” 800 “height =” 530 “/>

Typical skink habitat in the Midwestern region of Western Australia; (A) open eucalyptus forest in which the piles of logs are poorly distributed; (B and C) examples of piles of logs inhabited by skink colonies; and (D) young skinks that bask next to one of the hollows of a busy pile of logs. Photos: H Bradley. credit: Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-08524-2

Wooden castles housing families of endangered western prickly-tailed skinheads are attracting wild and native predators as Curtin researchers use light-detection technology to recreate their habitat in a potential change to the global animal conservation game. .

Researchers have used light detection and range (LiDAR) technology – often used in mines – to create high-resolution scans of multiple logs of logs to identify exactly what lizards like in specific wooden castles. logs to reproduce them and help with future habitat restoration.

Lead researcher Dr. Holly Bradley, a student at Curtin School of Molecular and Natural Sciences, said the study showed that LiDAR was an accurate, effective tool that could be used around the world to help conserve animals.

“Western prickly skink is an unusual reptile, as it has a large prickly tail for protection and they live together in family groups in wooden” castles “made up of the remains of fallen trees, but they don’t seem to like all castles and only live in some.” said Bradley.

“LiDAR is a device that uses lasers to create a high-precision 3D model and is most often attached to small aircraft or drones for the mining industry to map terrain structures.

“This is the first time that LiDAR technology has been used in this way – to help characterize the microhabitat requirements of a particular endangered species. This will help us identify areas and habitat structures that are important for protection, as well as show us how to recreate the optimal wooden “castles” during landscape restoration to help preserve the future of the western prickly tail zinc . “

The head of research, Associate Professor Bill Bateman, said that these skins live in the dry Midwest of Western Australia, a region that poses many threats, including active mining operations.

“We have identified crows and ravens targeting these log castles, and although they are native birds, they can become very abundant around waste disposal sites,” Bateman said. “Skins are also susceptible to harm from feral cats that hunt babies and adult skins.

“For the continued survival of the endangered Western Skink, the introduced predators must be managed and resources such as landfills around mining operations must be managed to prevent too many local predators.”

Saving these family-oriented lizards may mean moving them to new homes, but it’s not that simple.

More info:
Holly S. Bradley et al., Predators in the Mining Landscape: Threats to a Unique Behavior, an Endangered Lizard, Australian ecology (2022). DOI: 10.1111 / aec.13195

Holly S. Bradley et al, Disclosure of microhabitat requirements for an endangered specialized lizard with LiDAR, Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-08524-2

Provided by Curtin University

Quote: Light technology recreates “log castles” to save stray lizards (2022, June 15), retrieved June 15, 2022 from -castles-homeless-lizards.html

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