Research

The Hidden Vale Wildlife Project conducts research into a number of areas stemming from the overarching Project goal which is:

"To develop innovative and globally significant solutions for wildlife management and conservation, using the Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre and surrounding ecosystems as a model."

 

Research is broadly grouped into two streams:

1) Captive research streams - using the Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre

Next-generation husbandry and captive management

Technological advances in conservation

Wildlife pre-release strategies

2) Ecology / ecosystem research streams - using the Hidden Vale Property and other Turner Family Foundation properties

Pest and threat management

Habitat condition and restoration

Sustainable land uses (e.g. agriculture and ecotourism)

Ecosystem and trophic dynamics

 

 

Hidden Vale Research Support Program

Hidden Vale Project research students have access to a range of additional support and resources including (but not limited to):

  • Top-up scholarships of $7,000 per year for three years for PhD students via the UQ Graduate School Scholarships website.
  • Access to 20,000 acres of real-world research-focussed land and land uses, with research support of vegetation mapping, land use data, LiDAR data, fieldwork tablets, and long-term research sites.
  • Access to a purpose-built state of the art captive wildlife facility, with a range of camera-equipped enclosures, research rooms, laboratories and a fully equipped veterinary clinic.
  • Desk space and office equipment within the Hidden Vale postgraduate room at the Wildlife Centre.
  • Access to a wide range of research equipment including cameras, traps, and a 4WD vehicle.
  • Eligibility to apply for quarterly research funding via an online application form. There is up to $12,000 in total available each round to be split between a range of research projects as determined by the Research Committee. 
  • Access to one-on-one statistical advice with a highly experienced statistician on site one day per month. 
  • Social support program – every second month all HV research students (and their advisors) are hosted a morning tea at the Spicers retreat where they share the trials and tribulations of the research experience.
  • Research training program – on the alternate month to the morning tea, research training sessions are held on topics ranging from scientific writing, to public speaking, Endnote, research ethics, graduate school procedures etc with guest speakers when suitable. Topics for these sessions are flexible guided by current student needs.
  • General research support and advice from a Project Research Manager based on site at the Wildlife Centre. 

 

For further information on any of the research themes or the Hidden Vale Research Support Program please contact Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre Research Manager Dr Julia Hoy: j.hoy@uq.edu.au

 

Current and upcoming research

Ecology / ecosystem research

Restoration of faunal community assemblages, including a focus on ecosystem engineers such as potoroids

  1. Reintroduction of Rufous bettongs (Aepyprymnus rufescens) and/or other potoroids and digging ‘critical weight range’ mammals to Old Hidden Vale and Spicers Peak Stations and the investigation of ecosystem effects. 
  2. Competition and predation of brushtailed rock wallabies 

 

Restoration and dynamics of top-order predators (e.g. dingoes and spotted-tailed quolls)

  1. Feasibility of reintroducing Spotted-tailed Quolls (D. m. maculatus) to connected habitat through the Little Liverpool Range and/or broader Scenic Rim.
  2. Spotted-tailed Quoll spatial ecology in modified landscapes.

 

Targeted fox management (and other pest ecology & management)

  1. Mata Hari Judas females
  2. Can we kill foxes without impacting dogs (with PAPP CPE’s)? 

 

Increasing connectivity, including via restoration of endangered Regional Ecosystems and riparian zones

  1. Koala habitat use in modified landscapes 
  2. Melaleuca irbyana regeneration

 

Increasing efficiency and effectiveness of large-scale weed control

  1. The effectiveness of stem-injected chemical and biological herbicides for weed control in sensitive environments 

 

Restoration of grassy woodland productivity and habitat attributes via appropriate grazing and fire regimes

  1. Biodiversity in remnant, regrowth and pasture landscapes

 

Sustainable land uses: balancing land use with conservation goals

  1. Ecosystem restoration and management, balancing conservation and land use
  2. The impact of human landscapes on wildlife-pathogen dynamics
  3. Ecotourism/wildlife tourism: what are the visitor’s perceptions? 

 

Effective long-term ecological condition monitoring

  1. Development of multi-species monitoring metrics