2018 Honours Projects on Offer (updated 9/01/2018)
********* UPDATE: THE BELOW POSITIONS HAVE BEEN FILLED *********
Please contact me if you are interested in other honours or PhD opportunities in 2018 on email@example.com
1. Can cat bibs reduce domestic cat predation on urban wildlfe?
Free-roaming domestic cats frequently kill and consume native wildlife. There is therefore an urgent need to develop novel solutions to reduce cat predation on wildlife whilst also allowing humans to enjoy the benefits of keeping cats as pets. This project will explore whether a cat bib (a simple structure placed around the cats neck) can reduce wildlife predation rates by cats, and determine which particular shape or sized bib is most effective. There is also the option to examine how the cat bib works; does it stop cats pouncing, or prevent them from crawling? To conduct the study the honours student will recruit cat owners in the Sydney region to record the wildlife that their cat brings back to the home. Then, after about four weeks, the owner will place the bib on the cats and record the difference. The student will have access to lab facilities, cat bibs, small GPS loggers, and animal eye camera’s to capture ‘cat’s eye view’ and $3,000 support for travel costs. More details on the cat bibs can be found here: https://catbib.com.au or US https://catgoods.com
2. Visitation rates of foxes and other fauna to canid pest ejectors in urban and peri-urban areas
Greater Sydney Local Land Services would like to work with a student who is interested in fox control in urban and peri-urban areas. Poison baiting (1080) is the most effective and efficient method of managing foxes. Poison baiting is normally undertaken by burying baits however canid pest ejectors (CPEs) have been developed as a target specific delivery device for 1080. Access and use is governed by local regulations and authorities. Advantages of CPEs include their target specificity to canids and their inability to be moved or cached by animals. CPEs however are also likely to be taken by domestic dogs.
This project primarily aims to deploy non-toxic CPE devices to investigate the potential in situ risk to domestic dogs in peri-urban and urban areas. Additional data will also be collected during field trials on aspects of field usage (e.g. lure, placement and timing) and will help define appropriate usage guidelines.
Overall, the student will:
- Undertake pest animal management (1080/Pindone) training
- Deploy non-toxic CPEs at a range of sites across Greater Sydney
- Monitor CPEs using remote cameras
- Develop a small range of lures to be used with CPEs
- Tag and analyse camera trap results.
The Greater Sydney Local Land Services contact for the project will be Alison Towerton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
More details on CPEs can be found here: http://www.animalcontrol.com.au/news/2014/20140522-1.htm