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Gray T.N.E.,World Wide Fund for Nature Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Phan C.,World Wide Fund for Nature Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Pin C.,World Wide Fund for Nature Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Prum S.,Mondulkiri Forestry Administration Cantonment
Wildlife Biology | Year: 2012

Monitoring ungulate populations is an essential part of wildlife management with ungulates performing essential ecosystem roles including structuring populations of large carnivores. A number of ungulate species in Southeast Asia are also globally threatened and are therefore important conservation targets in their own right. We estimated large (> 15 kg) ungulate densities in two protected areas, i.e. Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, in eastern Cambodia using distance-based line transect sampling. During the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 dry seasons, we surveyed 110 line transects (randomly distributed across 3,406 km2) for a total of 1,310 km. We used DISTANCE 6.0 to model detection functions from observations of banteng Bos javanicus, wild pig Sus scrofa and red muntjac Muntiacus muntjak generating estimates of group density, cluster size and individual density. Estimated densities ± SE were 1.1 ± 0.2 individual banteng/km2, 1.4 ± 0.4 individual wild pig/km2 and 2.2 ± 0.2 individual red muntjac/km2 giving an overall density of approximately 4.7 large ungulates/km2. Although wild pig and red muntjac densities were within the range of estimates reported from ecologically similar protected areas in tropical Asia, overall large ungulate density is much lower than the intrinsic carrying capacity of deciduous dipterocarp forest. This appears largely to be due to the scarcity of large deer (i.e. hog deer Axis porcinus, sambur Cervus unicolor and Eld's deer Cervus eldii) as a result of extensive historic hunting. Current large ungulate densities appear too low to support a viable tiger Panthera tigris population in the long term, and ungulate recovery, driven by strong protected area management, needs to be achieved before tiger populations can be restored. © Wildlife Biology, NKV. Source

Gray T.N.E.,World Wide Fund for Nature Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Prum S.,World Wide Fund for Nature Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2012

Effective conservation of large carnivores requires reliable estimates of population density, often obtained through capture-recapture analysis, in order to prioritize investments and assess conservation intervention effectiveness. Recent statistical advances and development of user-friendly software for spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) circumvent the difficulties in estimating effective survey area, and hence density, from capture-recapture data. We conducted a camera-trapping study on leopards (Panthera pardus) in Mondulkiri Protected Forest, Cambodia. We compared density estimates using SECR with those obtained from conventional approaches in which the effective survey area is estimated using a boundary strip width based on observed animal movements. Density estimates from Chao heterogeneity models (3.8±SE 1.9 individuals/100 km 2) and Pledger heterogeneity models and models accounting for gender-specific capture and recapture rates (model-averaged density 3.9±SE 2.9 individuals/100 km 2) were similar to those from SECR in program DENSITY (3.6±SE 1.0/100 km 2) but higher than estimates from Jack-knife heterogeneity models (2.9±SE 0.9 individuals/100 km 2). Capture probabilities differed between male and female leopards probably resulting from differences in the use of human-made trails between sexes. Given that there are a number of biologically plausible reasons to expect gender-specific variation in capture probabilities of large carnivores, we recommend exploratory analysis of data using models in which gender can be included as a covariate affecting capture probabilities particularly given the demographic importance of breeding females for population recovery of threatened carnivores. © 2011 The Wildlife Society. Copyright © The Wildlife Society, 2011. Source

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