DUNDAS, Shannon

Shannon Dundas

Research interests

  • Aerial surveys of wildlife
  • Wildlife management/conservation
  • Wildlife movements and tracking
  • UAVs / drones
  • Management of pest birds
  • Management of native birds
  • Fox control on private properties


Shannon joined the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit (Biosecurity and Food Safety) within the NSW Department of Primary Industries as a Research Officer in May 2015. Her primary role from 2015-2020 was assessing waterfowl populations in NSW to provide annual quotas to the Game Licensing Unit. The project also seeks to improve our understanding of life history traits for waterfowl species by using satellite trackers to assess individual movements and nestboxes to establish nesting success. Shannon is still involved in co-coordinating and carrying out helicopter-based aerial surveys of waterfowl using small farm dams as well as drone surveys on larger waterbodies for the annual counts. In addition, she is involved with trapping and tagging waterfowl in the Riverina region. Shannon also assists with the annual Eastern Aerial Waterbird Survey run by University of NSW which is carried out in a fixed wing plane and involves counting all waterbird species along 10 bands covering most of Eastern Australia.

In September 2020, Shannon began working on a project in collaboration with the Saving Our Species program focusing on effective fox and wild dog control to protect malleefowl as well as livestock on private properties near Mt Hope in western NSW. She is also involved in the annual fixed-wing aerial kangaroo surveys carried out across NSW to provide an annual harvest quota.

Shannon has been an active member on the Orange Animal Ethics Committee since 2017 as a category B researcher member.

Shannon has previously been involved with a diverse range of research projects including habitat use by southwest carpet pythons, habitat use and diet of honey possums, assessment of fox diet in WA, target specificity of ground baiting to control foxes at an outdoor piggery and for species of conservation concern, impacts of native and introduced digging mammals on mycorrhizal fungi communities and impacts of drought-affected forest on assemblages of small mammals, reptiles and birds. She continues as an Adjunct Research Fellow at Murdoch University.


  • BSc. – (Graduated 2001) Majoring in Marine Science and Environmental Science (Murdoch University)
  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (Graduated 2002) Swan TAFE
  • BSc. – (Graduated 2005) Majoring in Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Biological Science (Murdoch University)
  • BSc. (Hons) – (Graduated 2008) ‘Utilisation of Phytophthora cinnamomi affected habitats by honey possums (Tarsipes rostratus) in the Cape Riche area, WA’ (Murdoch University)
  • PhD - (Graduated 2014) ‘Conservation of quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) in the northern jarrah forest: is habitat degradation by feral pigs a greater threat than the presence of red foxes?’ (Murdoch University)

Current projects

Mt Hope Predator Control Program (malleefowl)

Recent publications

Fleming, P.A., Crawford, M. H, Stobo-Wilson, A. M., Dundas, S. J., Dawson, S. J., Stuart, J-M., O’Connor, J., Speed, J., Gentle, M., Riley, J., Turpin, J., Thompson, E., Ritchie, E., Palmer, R., Newsome, T., Dickman, C., Saunders, G., Woinarski, J. (In final review) “Diet of the introduced red fox Vulpes vulpes in Australia: analysis of temporal and spatial patterns”. Mammal Review

Fleming, P.A., Wentzel, J.J., Dundas, S. J., Kreplins, T.L., Craig, M.D., Hardy,G. E. St.J (In final review) “Global meta-analysis of tree decline impacts on fauna.” Biological Reviews

Dundas, S. J., Ruthrof, K. X., Hardy, G. E. St.J., Fleming, P.A. (In press) “Some like it hot: Drought-induced forest die-off influences reptile assemblages.”Acta Oecologica

Dundas, S.J., Vardanega, M., O’Brien, P., McLeod, S.R. (2021). “Quantifying waterfowl numbers: comparison of drone and ground-based survey methods for surveying waterfowl on artificial waterbodies”. Drones 5: 5.

Kreplins, T.L., Kennedy, MS, O'Leary, R.A., Adams, P.J., Dundas, S.J., Fleming, P.A. (2020). “Fighting like cats and dogs? Dingoes do not constrain spatial and temporal movements of feral cats.” Food Webs: e00173.

Dundas, S. J., Ruthrof, K. X., Hardy, G. E. St.J., Fleming, P.A. (2019). "Pits or pictures: a comparative study of camera traps and pitfall trapping to survey small mammals and reptiles." Wildlife Research 46(2):104-113.

Dundas, S. J. (2019). "Tell-tale testicles: observations of morphological abnormalities in small, spatially restricted mainland quokka (Setonix brachyurus) populations." Australian Mammalogy 41(1): 150-154.

Hopkins, A. J. M., Ruthrof, K. X., Fontaine, J. B., Matusick, G., Dundas, S. J., Hardy, G. E. St. J. (2018) “Forest die-off following global-change-type drought alters rhizosphere fungal communities.” Environmental Research Letters 13(9) https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aadc19

Dundas, S. J., Hopkins, A. J. M., Ruthrof, K. X., Tay, N. E., Burgess, T. I., Hardy, G. E. St.J., Fleming, P.A. (2018). "Digging mammals contribute to rhizosphere fungal community composition and seedling growth." Biodiversity and Conservation 27(12): 3071–3086.

Kreplins, T. L., Kennedy, M. S., Adams, P. J., Bateman, P. W., Dundas, S. J., Fleming, P. A. (2018). "Fate of dried meat baits aimed at wild dog (Canis familiaris) control." Wildlife Research 45(6): 528-538.

Kreplins, T. L., Kennedy, M. S., Dundas, S. J., Adams, P. J., Bateman, P. W., Fleming, P. A. (2018). "Corvid interference with Canid Pest Ejectors in the southern rangelands of Western Australia." Ecological Management & Restoration 19(2): 169-172.

Dundas, S. J., Adams, P.J. and Fleming, P.A. (2018) Population monitoring of an endemic macropod, the quokka (Setonix brachyurus), in the northern jarrah forest, Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy. 40: 26-35.

Dundas, S. J., Tracey, J., Ramsey, D., Moriarty, A., Toop, S. and McLeod, S. (2017) ‘Improving monitoring & management of ducks in Australia’ Conservation through Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference Proccedings (peer reviewed).

Allsop, S., Dundas, S. J., Adams, P., Bateman, P., Kreplins, T. L. and Fleming, P. (2017) Reduced efficacy of baiting programs for invasive species: some mechanisms and management implications. Pacific Conservation Biology. 23: 240-257.

Forbes-Harper, J.L., Crawford, H.M., Dundas, S.J., Warburton, N.M., Adams, P.J., Bateman, P.W., Calver, M.C., and Fleming, P.A. (2017) Diet and bite force in red foxes: ontogenetic and sex differences in an invasive carnivore. Journal of Zoology, 303: 54-63.

Fleming, P.A., Dundas, S.J., Lau, Y.W., and Pluske, J.R. (2016) Predation by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at an outdoor piggery. Animals 6 (10), 60.

Dundas, S.J., Fleming, P.A., and Hardy, G.E.S.J. (2016) The plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi influences habitat use by the obligate nectarivore honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus). Australian Journal of Zoology 64, 122-131.

Dundas, S.J., Adams, P.J. and Fleming, P.A. (2014) Chapter 15: Can camera surveys provide reliable population estimates for nondescript species? In Meek, P., Fleming, P. (Eds), Camera Trapping: Wildlife Management and Research (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.

Dundas, S. J., Adams, P. J. and Fleming, P. A. (2014) First in, first served: uptake of 1080 poison fox baits in south-west Western Australia. Wildlife Research, 41(2), 117 - 126.

Dundas, S.J., Fleming, P.A., and Hardy, G.E.S.J. (2013) Flower visitation by honey possums (Tarsipes rostratus) in a coastal banksia heathland infested with the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. Australian Mammalogy 35 (2), 166-174.

Bryant, G.L., Dundas, S.J., and Fleming, P.A. (2012) Tree hollows are of conservation importance for a Near-Threatened python species. Journal of Zoology 286(1), 81-92.

Fields of research

  • 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
  • 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
  • 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
  • 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
  • 060207 Population Ecology
  • 060201 Behavioural Ecology
  • 060801 Animal Behaviour

Keywords/phrases list of research interests

  • Aerial survey of wildlife
  • Wildlife population estimation
  • Sustainable wildlife harvest
  • Unmanned vehicle / drones
  • Satellite tracking of birds
  • Nestbox surveys
  • Native mammal surveys
  • Animal ethics

Contact details

Email: shannon.dundas@dpi.nsw.gov.au