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Are koalas detected more effectively by systematic spotlighting or diurnal searches?
- Wilmott, Lachlan, Cullen, Dympna, Madani, George, Krogh, Martin, Madden, Kylie
- Australian mammalogy 2019 v.41 no.1 pp. 157-160
- Phascolarctos cinereus, landscapes, surveys
- Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are difficult to detect due to their cryptic nature, occurrence at low densities and broad distribution. We compare the relative effectiveness of two common, direct survey techniques used to detect koalas: spotlighting and diurnal searches. Seventy-six 2-ha sites were surveyed using both spotlighting and diurnal searching. Each site was surveyed for 0.5 person-hours, such that search area and effort were equal. In this study, spotlighting was found to be 3.25 times more effective at detecting koalas than day searches. Therefore, where access and terrain allows, spotlighting surveys offer a significant advantage over diurnal searches in the detection of koalas.