Abstract: This herpetofaunal search data package for the Jervis Bay Booderee National Park Plot Network comprises herpetofaunal survey data recorded along permanent 100 m transects, between 2012 and 2017. Up until December 2010, pitfall traps were used to capture small reptiles and frogs; from 2011, sites were surveyed for reptiles and frogs using artificial substrates (tiles, tins, and wooden sleepers), and by performing time-controlled active searches.
The plot network was established in 2002 in Booderee National Park in the Jervis Bay Territory, south-eastern Australia. The study location is a floristically diverse area in which fire history has been well-documented over several decades. The plot network’s objectives involve quantifying the inter-relationships between natural disturbance and/or management intervention (including weed and feral animal control and prescribed burning) and the reciprocal changes in vegetation condition and biodiversity response.
This particular study forms part of the collection of data packages from the Jervis Bay Booderee National Park Plot Network. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Jervis Bay Booderee National Park Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c3c070a5ee94
Sampling method: Since March 2007, surveying has taken place at a total of 130 sites. These include the original 110 permanent sites in the study at Booderee National Park, as first delineated in 2002, using two stratifying variables: (1) broad vegetation type (heathland, forest, woodland, etc.); and (2) past fire history – classified into four classes of time since the last fire (0-10 years, 11-20 years, 21-30 years and >30 years). Also included since March 2007 are 20 extra sites, set up as part of the “Bitou experiment”.
Study extent: There is a small number of bycatch (non-herpetofaunal species) records in the survey data. In particular, for those pertaining to the Funnel-web Spider, the scientific name of Atrax robustus is used, although it is possible individuals are Illawarra wisharti (a species of Funnel-web described in 2010) or an as yet undescribed species (probably of genus Hadronyche). Other bycatch records occurring in the data include observations for animals with the following common names: Bush Rat, Crab, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Long-nosed Bandicoot, and Short-beaked Echidna. Surveys commenced in 2003, and up until December 2010, pitfall traps were used to capture small reptiles and frogs. From 2005, each site was trapped at least annually in December (data collection in previous years did not occur according to this pattern). Six pitfalls were placed each 20 m along a 100 m transect. Pitfalls were opened for three consecutive nights. From 2011, spring and summer surveys were conducted, and sites were surveyed for reptiles and frogs using artificial substrates, supplemented by time-controlled active searches every 1–2 years. With the artificial substrates, two sheets of corrugated iron, four roof tiles and four ‘half length’ railway sleepers were placed at the 20 m and 80 m points of the transect.
Project funding: Up until 2012 this project was funded by an ARC Linkage Grant and industry partners Parks Australia and the Department of Defence. Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of, and funded through the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) a facility within the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.