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Impacts of lantana invasion on habitat use by native and exotic animals in Lake Macquarie bushland

Project Member(s): Murray, B., Martin, L., Webb, J.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Lake Macquarie City Council (Lake Macquarie Environmental Research Grants)

Start year: 2016

Summary: Lantana (Lantana camara) is an invasive exotic plant species in Lake Macquarie bushland and a recognised Weed of National Significance in Australia. The NSW Scientific Committee has listed lantana invasion as a Key Threatening Process causing biodiversity decline in NSW. In the city of Lake Macquarie, lantana readily establishes at road sides and bushland edges, spreading into adjoining vegetation to compromise biodiversity values. This project will determine the impacts of lantana on habitat use by native animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates) and the role of lantana in the spread of feral pest animals (such as foxes, cats and exotic birds) in Lake Macquarie bushland. The project will answer the questions: (1) Does lantana invasion lead to declines in the biodiversity of native fauna? (2) Does lantana invasion lead to increases in the abundance of feral pests? The project will thus inform decisions on prioritising sites for lantana control and appropriate post-control management. The findings of the project will identify important management actions linked to (i) replanting invaded habitat with suitable native plants to provide replacement habitat for native fauna species and (ii) control of feral animals to maximise the recovery of native fauna.

FOR Codes: Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity, Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Forest and Woodlands Environments, Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments, Terrestrial Ecology, Invasive Species Ecology, Conservation and Biodiversity, Wildlife and Habitat Management