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Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Sing K.-W.,University of Malaya | Jusoh W.F.A.,University of Malaya | Jusoh W.F.A.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | Hashim N.R.,International University of Malaya-Wales | Wilson J.-J.,University of Malaya
Urban Ecosystems | Year: 2016

Rapid economic development has accelerated urbanisation and biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia. Studies of urban ecology have suggested urban parks can be effective refuges for wildlife in temperate regions, but their effectiveness as refuges in rapidly urbanising tropical regions is understudied. We examined the species diversity of butterflies in urban parks in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and investigated the relationships between butterfly species richness and three park variables: i) park size, ii) distance from the central business district and iii) park age. Standardised butterfly sampling was conducted across different microhabitat types at each park: i) groves, ii) hedges, iii) flowerbeds and iv) unmanaged areas. We recorded 572 butterflies belonging to 60 species (97 % considered common) from five families. Although species richness was positively correlated with park size and age and negatively correlated with distance from the central business district; the correlations were weak and not statistically significant. However, species richness of host-specialist species was significantly positively correlated with park size and age. The highest species richness (65 % of observed species) was recorded in the unmanaged microhabitat. It is likely that both park planting scheme and the presence of early successional plants in unmanaged microhabitat led to highest butterfly species richness in parks that contained all four microhabitat types. Whether a diverse planting scheme and increased size and number of unmanaged areas in urban parks can improve the ability of parks to sustain populations of rare butterflies in the face of future urbanisation remains to be seen. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York Source

Rayan D.M.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | Rayan D.M.,University of Kent | Linkie M.,University of Kent
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

The unprecedented economic growth occurring across Southeast Asia is causing large tracts of rainforest to be logged, converted to plantations or fragmented by infrastructure development. It also opens up forest to poachers which, in combination, places acute pressure on the region's large carnivores. Here, we focus on one of Malaysia's three priority tiger landscapes that illustrate these regional conservation challenges. The Royal Belum State Park (RBSP) and Temengor Forest Reserve (TFR) are connected by a strip of unprotected forest with portions assigned for conversion to monoculture plantations. To support government in setting aside wildlife corridors, we assessed: the abundance of tiger and principle prey under two different forest management regimes in RBSP and TFR; and, tiger habitat use in the unprotected forest strip, from which a spatially-explicit habitat model was produced to identify priority points of forest connectivity. Camera trapping revealed a threefold higher tiger density in the protected area (RBSP) than the forest reserve subjected to selective logging (TFR), which was likely explained by the higher relative abundance of its principal prey, seemingly lower levels of poaching as indicated from an independent study and presence of armed forces that may have deterred poachers. Two forest corridors were identified as being important for maintaining landscape connectivity and these findings were used to successfully lobby state government in affording them protection. This research offers an urgently needed approach for better managing Malaysian tiger habitat within forest reserves, which are predominantly designated for logging and have weak or non-existent wildlife protection measures. © 2015. Source

Jusoh W.F.A.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | Hashim N.R.,International University of Malaya-Wales
Ecology, Environment and Conservation | Year: 2016

In many developing Southeast Asian countries, increasing research efforts are being put into understanding the ecology of urban biodiversity (flora and fauna) in order to improve the city's ecosystem or as part of biodiversity initiative. We present the findings of our research efforts on understanding the diversity of ground arthropods in two forest fragments in the tropical city of Kuala Lumpur. A total of 686 individual arthropods representing 79 morphospecies of 11 arthropod orders were captured from 24 pitfall traps. It was revealed that the primary forest with high disturbance sustains low species than the degraded secondary forest. The most abundant orders trapped were Hymenoptera (mostly Formicidae), Coleoptera, Orthoptera and Arachnida (mostly Araneae). Ants (Formicidae) were outnumbered other taxa in both study sites. There was also an inverse relationship between total morphospecies and vegetation types. However, none of these arthropod groups appeared to be associated with distances from forest edges. Further sampling efforts are therefore needed to confirm our findings. The results of this study, although preliminary, showed that these forest fragments add ecological values to the city's landscape and biodiversity, hence it is very important to conserve them. Copyright © EM International. Source

Forrest J.L.,World Wildlife Fund | Mascia M.B.,World Wildlife Fund | Mascia M.B.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Pailler S.,World Wildlife Fund | And 6 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2015

Protected area downgrading, downsizing and degazettement (PADDD) is a global phenomenon that has not received formal attention in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) policies designed to reduce forest carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. Here, we examine how PADDD affects deforestation and forest carbon emissions. We documented 174 enacted and 8 proposed PADDD events affecting more than 48,000 km2 in three REDD+ priority countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malaysia, and Peru. Where sufficient data were available, we estimated deforestation rates and the quantity and economic value of forest carbon already lost and at risk in three land tenure classes: PADDDed, protected, and never-protected. PADDDed forests experienced deforestation and forest carbon emissions greatly exceeding rates in protected areas and slightly exceeding rates in never-protected forests. PADDD represents business-as-usual for protected areas, posing substantial risk to forests and forest carbon stocks. REDD+ policies have substantive implications for protected area biodiversity and forest carbon emissions; the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ provides new, but insufficient, guidance for nations to address these issues. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Mohamad S.W.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | Rayan D.M.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | Christopher W.C.T.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | Hamirul M.,Petaling Jaya Commercial Center | And 3 more authors.
Population Ecology | Year: 2015

The mainland clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is classified as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List, meaning that it faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. However, hardly any ecological research has been published on this species apart from several radiotelemetry studies in Thailand and Nepal, and one camera-trapping study in India. Here we present findings on the clouded leopard from a camera-trapping study conducted in Temengor forest reserve (a logged-over forest) and Royal Belum State Park (a primary forest) within Peninsular Malaysia. Using the spatially-explicit capture-recapture method, the density from Temengor forest reserve and Royal Belum State Park was estimated at 3.46 ± SE 1.00 and 1.83 ± SE 0.61, respectively. Clouded leopard habitat use was found to be highly influenced by the availability of small and medium prey species and therefore intrinsically highlights the potential conservation importance of species such as pig-tailed macaques, porcupine, mouse deer and small carnivores. These findings provide the first estimates of density and habitat use of this species in a logged-primary forest from both Peninsular Malaysia and South East Asia. Our study provides important baseline information on clouded leopards and contributes to filling up the knowledge gap that exists in understanding the population ecology of this species, not only within Peninsular Malaysia, but also on a regional level. © 2015, The Society of Population Ecology and Springer Japan. Source

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