Estimating occupancy of a data deficient mammalian species living in tropical rainforests: Sun bears in the Kerinci Seblat region, Sumatra

Linkie, Matthew and Dinata, Yoan and Nugroho, Agung and Haidir, Iding Achmad (2007) Estimating occupancy of a data deficient mammalian species living in tropical rainforests: Sun bears in the Kerinci Seblat region, Sumatra. Biological Conservation, 137 (1). pp. 20-27. ISSN 0006-3207. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Tropical mammals represent some of the most threatened species, but also the least known because they tend to be difficult to study. To objectively evaluate the conservation status of these species, standardized methods are urgently required. The sun bear Helarctos malayanus is a case in point: it is cryptic, difficult to detect and consequently classified on the IUCN Red List as Data Deficient, and the highest priority for bear conservation research. In this study, we apply a detection/non-detection sampling technique using camera trap data with environmental covariates to estimate sun bear occupancy from three tropical forest study areas with different levels of degradation and protection status in Sumatra. Sun bear detections, and encounter rates, were highest in one of the primary forest study areas, but sun bear occupancy was highest in the degraded forest study area. Whilst, sun bears were recorded at a greater proportion of camera placements in degraded forest, these records were often on only one occasion at each placement, which greatly increased the final occupancy estimate. Primary forests with their large fruiting trees undoubtedly represent good sun bear habitat, but our results indicate that degraded forest can also represent important habitat. These forests should therefore not be considered as having limited conservation value and assigned to other uses, such as oil palm production, as has previously happened in Sumatra. Estimating occupancy between years will yield information on the population trends of sun bears and other tropical mammals, which can be used to provide more reliable conservation assessments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: degraded forest; detection; logging; site occupancy; tropical forest; ursid
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Conservation Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Stephen Holland
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 19:29
Last Modified: 29 May 2014 10:46
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/2144 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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