A preliminary assessment of disturbance to rock outcrops in Gibraltar Range National Park
Goldingay, RL & Newell, DA 2006, 'A preliminary assessment of disturbance to rock outcrops in Gibraltar Range National Park', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. 127, no. 1, pp. 75-81.
The significance of habitat disturbance within protected areas remains poorly understood. This study assessed habitat disturbance to granite rock outcrops within a protected area in north-east New South Wales. Survey sites were classed as near (<350 >m) or far (>500 m) from roads and walking tracks. Habitat disturbance was dependent on site category, occurring at 8 of 10 near sites compared to 1 of 12 far sites. Disturbance mostly consisted of the construction of rock caims that may deplete the availability of loose rocks at a site. Reptiles were frequently found sheltering under loose rocks, attesting to the valuable microhabitat that this type of substrate provides. Further research is required to understand the significance of this disturbance and the extent of dependence by the local reptile fauna on this substrate. Our data provide a baseline against which future surveys can be compared.