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Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Naing H.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Fuller T.K.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Sievert P.R.,U.S. Geological Survey | Randhir T.O.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | And 3 more authors.
Raffles Bulletin of Zoology | Year: 2015

Myanmar is regarded as a last frontier of biodiversity in Asia. We used results from camera-traps set for tigers (Panthera tigris) during 2001–2011 in the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary of northern Myanmar to assess overall species richness of large mammals and birds, and to identify differences in species detection rates spatially and temporally. We deployed 403 camera stations during the dry seasons, October–July, of 2001–2011, placing 260 in the Core area (~1,800 km²) and 143 in the Extension area (~15,500 km²). From 10,750 trap-nights we obtained 2,077 independent photographs of wildlife species and 645 of humans. Wildlife included 35 species of mammals (19 carnivores, four primates, one elephant, six even-toed ungulates, one pangolin, and four rodents) and 16 species of birds. Of these, one is considered Critically Endangered, seven are Endangered, 11 are Vulnerable, and 5 are Near Threatened. Some species that probably occur in the Sanctuary (e.g., arboreal or semi-aquatic mammals) were not recorded, likely because of camera placement or rarity. In total, 48 species of wildlife were recorded in the Core area, while only 33 species were detected in the Extension area. Roughly half of the photographs were of poachers, villagers, and park rangers. The greater diversity of wildlife in the Core area may be partly due to increased patrol efforts, but is most likely due to differences in elevation, slope, density of streams, trails, and roads, and vegetation, all of which influence access to poachers. The decline in detection of tigers in the Core area, and several of their prey species, during this decade-long study suggests a need for increased management of human activities in order to conserve wildlife diversity in the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. © National University of Singapore.

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