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Sabak Bernam, Malaysia

Muehlenbein M.P.,Indiana University | Martinez L.A.,Indiana University | Lemke A.A.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Ambu L.,Wisma Muis | And 3 more authors.
Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease | Year: 2010

Background: Ecotourism can function as a powerful tool for species conservation. However, a significant proportion of travelers at wildlife sanctuaries may be ill and potentially infectious, creating unnecessary risk of pathogen transmission to wildlife. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to adult visitors at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah, Malaysia. The questionnaire recorded age, occupation, region of origin, history of recent travel, recent contact with livestock, domestic and wild animals, and diagnoses/symptoms of various infections. Results: 15% of the 633 tourists self-reported at least one of the following current symptoms: cough, sore throat, congestion, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Participants who reported recent animal contact were significantly more likely to report current respiratory symptoms compared to other participants. Likewise, participants with a medical-related occupation were more likely to report current respiratory symptoms while at Sepilok compared to other participants. Conclusions: Despite being ill and potentially infectious, these tourists were visiting a wildlife sanctuary to view endangered species. Many of these visitors had animal contact immediately prior to arriving, and many had at least some basic knowledge about infection transmission. While participants in nature-based tourism are generally concerned about environmental protection, present analyses suggest that a significant proportion of ecotourists are uninformed of the risks they may pose to non-human animal health. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Gregory S.D.,University of Adelaide | Gregory S.D.,Salmon and Trout Research Center | Ancrenaz M.,Hutan | Brook B.W.,University of Adelaide | And 5 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2014

Aim: Habitat fragmentation threatens species' persistence by increasing subpopulation isolation and vulnerability to stochastic events, and its impacts are expected to worsen under climate change. By reconnecting isolated fragments, habitat corridors should dampen the synergistic impacts of habitat and climate change on population viability. Choosing which fragments to reconnect is typically informed by past and current environmental conditions. However, habitat and climate are dynamic and change over time. Habitat suitability projections could inform fragment selection using current and future conditions, ensuring that corridors connect persistent fragments. We compare the efficacy of using current-day and future forecasts of breeding habitat to inform corridor placement under land cover and climate-change mitigation and no mitigation scenarios by evaluating their influence on subpopulation abundance, and connectivity and long-term metapopulation abundance. Our case study is the threatened orangutan metapopulation in Sabah. Location: Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Methods: Using coupled niche-population models that capture a metapopulation distribution and its major processes, we forecast the effect of current-day and future-informed habitat corridor implementations under two scenarios where (1) land cover and climate change continue unabated (no mitigation) and (2) local and international cooperation mitigates their synergistic impact (mitigation). Results: We show that Future-informed corridor placement maximizes long-term metapopulation abundance when human-driven land cover and climate change alter the spatio-temporal composition of suitable habitat. By contrast, there is no apparent benefit in using future forecasts of breeding habitat to inform corridor placement if conditions remain comparatively stable. For the Sabah orangutan under unabated land cover and climate change, habitat corridors should connect current-day populated eastern habitat fragments with vacant fragments in the state's west. Main conclusions: The efficacy of habitat corridors can be improved by using habitat-suitability model projections to inform corridor placement in rapidly changing environments, even for long-lived, low-fecundity, philopatric species such as orangutan. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

English M.,Victoria University of Wellington | Ancrenaz M.,Hutan Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project and Elephant Conservation Unit | Gillespie G.,University of Melbourne | Goossens B.,Danau Girang Field Center | And 4 more authors.
Current Zoology | Year: 2014

Recursion by herbivores is the repeated use of the same site or plants. Recursion by wild animals is rarely investigated but may be ubiquitous. Optimal foraging theory predicts site recursion as a function of the quality of the site, extent of its last use, and time since its last use because these influence site resource status and recovery. We used GPS collars, behaviour and site sampling to investigate recursion to foraging sites for two elephant Elephas maximus borneensis herds in the Lower Kinaba-tangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Borneo, over a 12 month period. Recursion occurred to 48 out of 87 foraging sites and was most common within 48 hours or between 151-250 days, indicating two different types of recursion. Recursion was more likely to occur if the site had previously been occupied for longer. Moreover, the time spent at a site at recursion was the same as the time spent at the site on the first occasion. The number of days that had passed between the first visit and recursion was also positively correlated with how much time was spent at the site at recursion. Habitat type also influenced the intensity of site-use, with more time spent at recursion within riverine/open grass areas along forest margins compared to other habitat types. Recursion is a common behaviour used by the elephants and its pattern suggests it may be a foraging strategy for revisiting areas of greater value. The qualities of recursion sites might usefully be incorporated into landscape management strategies for elephant conservation in the area. © 2014 Current Zoology. Source

Ancrenaz M.,Hutan | Ambu L.,Wisma Muis | Ahmad E.,Hutan | Manokaran K.,Hutan | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Today the majority of wild great ape populations are found outside of the network of protected areas in both Africa and Asia, therefore determining if these populations are able to survive in forests that are exploited for timber or other extractive uses and how this is managed, is paramount for their conservation. Methodology/Principal Findings: In 2007, the "Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project" (KOCP) conducted aerial and ground surveys of orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus morio) nests in the commercial forest reserves of Ulu Segama Malua (USM) in eastern Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Compared with previous estimates obtained in 2002, our recent data clearly shows that orang-utan populations can be maintained in forests that have been lightly and sustainably logged. However, forests that are heavily logged or subjected to fast, successive coupes that follow conventional extraction methods, exhibit a decline in orang-utan numbers which will eventually result in localized extinction (the rapid extraction of more than 100 m3 ha-1 of timber led to the crash of one of the surveyed sub-populations). Nest distribution in the forests of USM indicates that orang-utans leave areas undergoing active disturbance and take momentarily refuge in surrounding forests that are free of human activity, even if these forests are located above 500 m asl. Displaced individuals will then recolonize the old-logged areas after a period of time, depending on availability of food sources in the regenerating areas. Conclusion/Significance: These results indicate that diligent planning prior to timber extraction and the implementation of reduced-impact logging practices can potentially be compatible with great ape conservation. © 2010 Ancrenaz et al. Source

Mohamed A.,WWF Malaysia | Mohamed A.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah | Sollmann R.,North Carolina State University | Bernard H.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2013

The small (2- to 7-kg) leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is the most common cat species in Asia. Although it occurs in a wide range of habitats and seems to adapt well to anthropogenic habitat changes, surprisingly little is known about this species in the wild. All studies have focused on protected areas, although a large proportion of Southeast Asian forests are timber concessions. During this study, we used large camera-trapping data sets (783 records of 124 individuals) from 3 commercially used forests to investigate consequences of different logging regimes on density and habitat associations of the leopard cat. We applied spatial capture-recapture models accounting for the location of camera-traps (on or off road) to obtain estimates of leopard cat density. Density was higher in the 2 more disturbed forest reserves (X̄ = 12.4 individuals/100 km2 ± 1.6 SE and 16.5 ± 2 individuals/100 km2) than in the sustainably managed forest (9.6 ± 1.7 individuals/100 km2). Encounter rates with off-road traps were only 3.6-9.1% of those for on-road traps. Occupancy models, which accounted for spatial autocorrelation between sampling sites by using a conditional autoregressive model, revealed that canopy closure and ratio of climax to pioneer trees had a significantly negative impact on leopard cat occurrence. Our results confirm that the leopard cat is doing well in modified landscapes and even seems to benefit from the opening of forests. With such flexibility the leopard cat is an exception among tropical rain-forest carnivores. © 2013 American Society of Mammalogists. Source

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