Composition and habitat associations of large and medium-sized mammals in a commercial forest and mixed-plantation landscape in Sabah

Ng, Wai Pak (2020) Composition and habitat associations of large and medium-sized mammals in a commercial forest and mixed-plantation landscape in Sabah. Masters thesis, Sunway University.

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Commercial forests have increased in Malaysia to meet the demand for timber and pulpwood while trying to reduce dependence on tropical rainforests. An important question is whether commercial forests can retain valuable elements of biodiversity and, if so, which environmental characteristics might be important. This study investigated the relationship between habitat gradients and species richness of mammals in the mixed plantation mosaic in Bengkoka Peninsula and assessed sun bear habitat use using data from bear signs. I set up 59 camera stations for a minimum 21 days across three major land-use types. I analysed remote camera data and environmental covariates using generalized linear models and ordination analysis. I also conducted surveys of sun bear signs along 68 transects and analysed their relationships with environmental covariates using logistic regression models. I recorded >22 mammal species over 1,572 trap nights. Mammal detections were greater than expected in natural forest and less than expected in Acacia and non-Acacia plantations, but species richness did not differ among land-use types. Detections of threatened species were greater than expected in Acacia plantations, and much less than expected in non-Acacia plantations. Mammal species richness was positively correlated with the area of natural forest. Mammal detections increased with decreasing elevation and distance to Acacia plantations. Detections of threatened mammals were positively correlated with increased areas of natural forest, areas of Acacia, and proximity to roads. Ordination analyses revealed proboscis monkey, silvered langur, and mousedeer were distinctly associated with natural forest; smaller mammals, except otters, were linked with non-Acacia plantations. Muntjac, sambar deer, bearded pig, pangolin, and pig-tailed macaque were closely associated with Acacia plantations. Long-tailed macaques, civets and western tarsiers used more than one habitat type. The relative probability of sun bear presence increased with proximity to Acacia plantation and primary roads; its presence decreased markedly with increasing areas of non-Acacia. Natural forest and Acacia plantations on the Bengkoka Peninsula are used by a variety of mammal species, including threatened species. Besides retaining larger stands of natural forest, and enrichment through planting of native trees that provide food and other resources for mammals, antipoaching operation, particularly along the roads, and public awareness need to be strengthened for wildlife persistence.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: habitat; mammals; commercial forest; mixed plantation landscape; Sabah; sun bear; biodiversity; conservation; tropical Southeast asia; Bengkoka Peninsular; remote cameras; sign surveys
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Sunway University > School of Engineering and Technology [formerly School of Science and Technology until 2020] > Dept. Biological Sciences moved to SMLS wef 2021
Depositing User: Ms Yong Yee Chan
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2023 03:08
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2023 03:08

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