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Studying large mammal species in tropical forests is a conservation challenge with species' behavior and ecology often increasing the probability of non-detection during surveys. Consequently, knowledge of the distribution, status, and natural history of many large mammal species in Southeast Asia is limited. I developed occupancy models from camera-trapping data, thereby accounting for imperfect detection at sampling sites, to clarify the status and habitat requirements of four globally threatened or near threatened large mammals (banteng Bos javanicus, gaur Bos gaurus, dhole Cuon alpinus, and leopard Panthera pardus) in Mondulkiri Protected Forest, eastern Cambodia. Camera traps were operational for >3500 trap nights with 202 photographic encounters of the four study species. Model averaged occupancy estimates were between 5 percent (leopard) and 140 percent (gaur) higher than naive estimates (i.e., proportion of camera-trap sites species recorded from) thus highlighting the importance of accounting for detectability during conservation surveys. I recommend the use of an occupancy framework when using camera-trap data to study the status, ecology, and habitat preferences of poorly known and elusive species. The results highlight the importance of mixed deciduous and semi-evergreen forest for wild cattle in eastern Cambodia and I emphasize that these habitats must be considered in conservation planning across the Lower Mekong Dry Forest Ecoregion. © 2012 The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2012 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

Gray T.N.E.,WWF Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Prum S.,WWF Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Pin C.,WWF Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program | Phan C.,WWF Greater Mekong Cambodia Country Program
ORYX | Year: 2012

Abstract The banteng Bos javanicus is a globally threatened species of wild cattle restricted to South-East Asia. We report the first robust estimate of banteng density and population size from anywhere in the species' global range, using distance-based line transect sampling within two protected areas, Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, which form part of the Eastern Plains Landscape, Cambodia. We surveyed 110 line transects multiple times during the dry seasons of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. In a total survey effort of 1,310 km there were 63 encounters with banteng. The mean estimate of the population across the 3,406 km 2 study area is 3,200 (95% confidence interval 1,980-5,170). This suggests that the protected area complex of the Eastern Plains Landscape supports the majority of the global population of banteng. Stronger protection, both in the form of increased anti-hunting and poaching patrols and integrated land-use planning to prevent habitat loss within protected areas, is essential for securing wild cattle populations in the Eastern Plains Landscape. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.

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