Ecology, occurrence and distribution of wild felids in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

Mohd Azlan, Jayasilan and Sally, Soo Kaicheen and Lok, Lisa Choy Hong and Cheok, Melynda Ka Yi and Maiwald, Marius Joscha and Helmy, Olga E. and Giordano, Anthony J. and Brodie, Jedediah F. (2022) Ecology, occurrence and distribution of wild felids in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Oryx. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1365-3008

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Sarawak is the largest state in the megadiversecountry of Malaysia. Its rich biodiversity is threatened byland-use change and hunting, with mammalian carnivoresparticularly affected. Data on the ecology, occurrence anddistribution of small carnivores are crucial to inform theireffective conservation, but no large-scale assessments havepreviously been conducted in Sarawak. Here we examinethe status of the five species of felids in Sarawak based ondata from camera-trap studies overyears (May–February) acrossstudy areas, including protected areasof various sizes, production forests and forest matrix withinoil palm plantations. Felids were detected at%ofcamera stations. The marbled catPardofelis marmorataandSunda clouded leopardNeofelis diardihad higher probabil-ities of occurrence in protected than unprotected areas, andvice versa for the leopard catPrionailurus bengalensisandbay catCatopuma badia. The marbled and bay cats weremostly diurnal, and the leopard cat was predominantly noc-turnal; activity patterns did not substantively differ betweenprotected and unprotected sites. The probabilities of oc-currence of marbled and bay cats increased with greaterdistance from roads. The leopard cat and flat-headed catPrionailurus planicepswere more likely, and the cloudedleopard less likely, to occur near rivers. Flat-headed catspreferred peat swamp forest, bay cats lowland forest, andmarbled cats and clouded leopards occurred in both low-land and montane forest. Felids may tolerate higher eleva-tions to avoid anthropogenic disturbance; therefore, it iscritical to preserve lowland and mid-elevation habitatsthat provide refugia from climate change and the destruc-tion of lowland habitat.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Felids, fragmentation, habitat loss, land-use change, logging, occurrence, oil palm, protected area
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Depositing User: Tuah
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2022 02:05
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2023 02:41

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