Jambi City, Indonesia
Jambi City, Indonesia

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Mallari N.A.D.,C o the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction | Collar N.J.,BirdLife International | Lee D.C.,Harapan Rainforest | McGowan P.J.K.,Newcastle University | And 2 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2011

There is widespread concern for many understorey and ground-dwelling bird species in the Philippines that appear intolerant of forest alteration. We present density estimates for 18 key bird species in old growth forest, advanced and early secondary growth and active cultivation within the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan. Six species were not recorded in cultivation and the abundance of these and several others increased along the successional gradient from cultivation to old growth forest. Eleven species, including five endemics and three of four threatened species, had highest density estimates in old growth forest. However, several species had high density estimates in the heavily disturbed habitats and every habitat type held highest densities of at least one of the bird species. The commonest habitat association across the bird community was a preference for areas containing large trees, indicating the importance of retention of such trees in allowing suitable ground and understorey microhabitats to persist. Old growth forests have the highest conservation value for Palawan-s endemic birds and, while some species thrive in the anthropogenic habitats that occur within the Park, the present extent of cultivation and associated successional stages within its boundaries should not be increased. We caution against extrapolation of the abundance figures from the Park to the whole island but we suggest that population sizes for the threatened species are likely to be much greater than previously thought. We urge authorities to strengthen management within the protected area network in Palawan to ensure survival of key species. © 2011 Fauna & Flora International.

Lee D.C.,University of South Wales | Lee D.C.,Center for Conservation Science | Powell V.J.,Harapan Rainforest | Lindsell J.A.,Center for Conservation Science
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2015

All gibbon species are globally threatened with extinction yet conservation efforts are undermined by a lack of population and ecological data. Agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis) occur in Sumatra, Indonesia and adjacent mainland Southeast Asia. Population densities are known from four sites (three in Sumatra) while little is known about their ability to tolerate habitat degradation. We conducted a survey of agile gibbons in Harapan Rainforest, a lowland forest site in Sumatra. The area has been severely degraded by selective logging and encroachment but is now managed for ecosystem restoration. We used two survey methods: an established point count method for gibbons with some modifications, and straight line transects using auditory detections. Surveys were conducted in the three main forest types prevalent at the site: high, medium, and low canopy cover secondary forests. Mean group density estimates were higher from point counts than from line transects, and tended to be higher in less degraded forests within the study site. We consider points more time efficient and reliable than transects since detectability of gibbons was higher from points per unit effort. We recommend the additional use of Distance sampling methods to account for imperfect detection and provide other recommendations to improve surveys of gibbons. We estimate that the site holds at least 6,070 and as many as 11,360 gibbons. Our results demonstrate that degraded forests can be extremely important for the conservation of agile gibbons and that efforts to protect and restore such sites could contribute significantly to the conservation of the species. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Lindsell J.A.,Center for Conservation Science | Lee D.C.,Harapan Rainforest | Lee D.C.,University of South Wales | Powell V.J.,Harapan Rainforest | Gemita E.,Harapan Rainforest
Tropical Conservation Science | Year: 2015

An estimated 63% of Southeast Asian forests are classed as disturbed and secondary as a result of human activity. Many of these forests remain important for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services so there is much interest in their capacity for restoration. The role of larger animals as seed dispersers in natural regeneration is well-attested since they are often the only agent by which large-seeded trees can effectively disperse. This is especially important for late successional shade-tolerant species which might otherwise be excluded from disturbed sites. However, many larger animals are sensitive to habitat degradation so may be lost from the very areas that require them. We investigated the persistence of a suite of large mammals that are known seed-dispersers and are also threatened species, in a degraded site in lowland south-central Sumatra. We used camera traps and field observations to relate their distributions to prevailing vegetation conditions. Although most species were more frequently detected in the more intact areas, most were able to occupy habitats with high levels of disturbance and population densities were relatively high. It is clear that severe habitat degradation does not necessarily lead to the immediate loss of large-bodied seed dispersers, so ensuring adequate protection for these species from external threats, such as hunting, must be built into management plans for restoration concessions. © Jeremy A. Lindsell, David C. Lee, Victoria J. Powell and Elva Gemita

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