Cryptic mammals caught on camera: assessing the utility of range wide camera trap data for conserving the endangered Asian tapir

Linkie, Matthew, Guillera-Arroita, Gurutzeta, Smith, Joseph, Ario, Anton, Bertagnolio, Gregoire, Cheong, Francis, Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben, Dinata, Yoan, Duangchantrasiri, Somphot, Fredriksson, Gabriella, Gumal, Melvin T., Horng, Liang Song, Kawanishi, Kae, Khakim, Faesal Rakhman, Kinnaird, Margaret F., Kiswayadi, Dedy, Lubis, Abu H., Lynam, Antony J., Maryati, , Maung, Myint, Ngoprasert, Dusit, Novarino, Wilson, O'Brien, Timothy G., Parakkasi, Karmila, Peters, Helga, Priatna, Dolly, Rayan, D. Mark, Seuaturien, Naret, Shwe, Nay Myo, Steinmetz, Robert, Sugesti, Arif M., Sunarto, , Sunquist, Melvin E., Umponjan, Mayuree, Wibisono, Hariyo T., Wong, Christopher C.T., and Zulfahmi, (2013) Cryptic mammals caught on camera: assessing the utility of range wide camera trap data for conserving the endangered Asian tapir. Biological Conservation, 162. pp. 107-115.

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The loss and fragmentation of substantial areas of forest habitat, in combination with rampant hunting, has pushed many of Southeast Asia's megafauna species to the verge of extinction. However, the extent of these declines is rarely quantified, thereby weakening lessons learned and species-based management. This need not be the case as a proliferation of camera trap surveys for large-bodied mammals across Southeast Asia, which use a standardized sampling technique, presents a rich yet under-utilized wildlife data set. Furthermore, advances in statistical techniques for assessing species distribution provide new opportunities for conducting comparative regional analyses. Here, we focus on one of Southeast Asia's least known species of megafauna, the Endangered Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus), to investigate the performance of a camera trap-based spatial modeling approach in conducting a range-wide species assessment. Detection data were collectively collated from 52,904 trap days and 1,128 camera traps located across 19 study areas drawn from the Asian tapir's entire range. Considerable variation in tapir occurrence was found between study areas in: Malaysia (0.52–0.77); Sumatra, Indonesia (0.12–0.90); Thailand (0.00–0.65); and, Myanmar (0.00–0.26), with generally good levels of estimate precision. Although tapirs were widespread (recorded in 17 of the 19 study areas), their occurrence was significantly and negatively correlated with human disturbance. Thus, this study extends the previously known applicability of camera traps to include a threatened and cryptic species by identifying where and how tapirs persist (including new records of occurrence), where future surveys should be conducted and providing a benchmark for measuring future conservation management efforts.

Item ID: 31718
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: camera trap; deforestation; detection probability; human footprint; large-bodied mammal; species distribution; tropics
Funders: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation/Save the Tiger Fund, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF Networks, WWF-Netherlands, WWF-US Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fellowship, Hurvis Family, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Virginia Tech, 21st Century Tiger, STF-Panthera Grant Program, Peoples Trust for Endangered Species, Rufford Foundation, University of Florida, BOS-Netherlands, Durrel Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Malaysian Wildlife Conservation Fund, Pulau Banding Foundation
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 10:10
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960906 Forest and Woodlands Land Management @ 100%
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