Protecting our native animals – research profile Ross Goldingay
Associate Professor Ross Goldingay is passionate about animals. One of his innovations was to propose a specific crossing structure for gliding mammals, using power poles, which is now in use on major highways. He is also investigating the use of nest boxes as a way of protecting threatened species.
I'm one of those people that has grown up being a bit obsessed about animals so, I like to see animals out in the wild and I guess just see biodiversity and take it in.
I'm fairly passionate about individual species so there's a number of species that I've done research on over a number of years. A lot of the work I've done has focused on particular threatened species so there's always that challenge of trying to find out something that can assist the long-term conservation of that species.
One of my innovations is to propose a specific cross structure for gliding mammals and it took probably more than a decade to get anyone interested in that idea which is to use power poles which are basically just dead standing trees that gliding mammals can climb and glide between and now that has become the standard sort of wildlife crossing structure that's been installed on by the Hume Highway and the Pacific Highway and our ongoing research has shown that not only will gliding mammals use those poles but they will use them fairly regularly to cross over roads.
We've done a lot of work looking at how species can utilise nest boxes, so a lot of the animals that we work a lot of the mammals require tree hollows for there survival and in a lot of landscapes the abundance of trees containing hollows has declined.
The work that we're doing is trying to understand the ecology of those species so we can understand why they might have declined in abundance and so that we can identify different management actions that can allow those species to be conserved over time so that they are and around for future generations because we don't want to actually have a loss of biodiversity over time we want to be able to protect what we've currently got and hopefully to bring those species back to high levels of abundance so that they could be delisted.