Diversity and occupancy of small carnivores within oil palm plantations in central Sumatra, Indonesia

Abstract

In Southeast Asia, the conversion of native forests to oil palm plantations threatens tropical biodiversity, but very little is known about the impacts of oil palm cultivation on small carnivore species. To determine the diversity and occupancy of small carnivores within oil palm plantations and to investigate possible factors that might affect their presence within oil palm, we used camera-traps within two oil palm plantations in central Sumatra, analysed the data using occupancy modelling and tested whether two covariates (distance to the edge of the oil palm habitat and distance from extensive areas of lowland forest) affected the model parameters for each small carnivore species. From 3164 camera-trap days, we detected only three small carnivores: leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga), which indicates that there was a low diversity of small carnivores within the oil palm plantations. Both the leopard cat and common palm civet were found deep within the oil palm, whereas the Malay civet was only detected near the edge in one of the plantations. The leopard cat and common palm civet had very high occupancy values, whereas the Malay civet had low values for both occupancy and detection probability. Neither covariate affected occupancy of the leopard cat and common palm civet, but distance from the edge of the oil palm habitat did influence their detection probabilities. Malay civet occupancy decreased with distance from the oil palm edge, and detection probability was affected by distance from extensive areas of lowland forest. Forests and rest/den site availability are suggested to be important features for small carnivores with oil palm-dominated landscapes.

DOI: 10.1007/s13364-015-0217-1

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@article{Jennings2015DiversityAO, title={Diversity and occupancy of small carnivores within oil palm plantations in central Sumatra, Indonesia}, author={Andrew P. Jennings and Mohd Faridun Naim and Andreas Dwi Advento and Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan and Sudharto Ps and Jean-Pierre Caliman and Aude Verwilghen and G{\'e}raldine V{\'e}ron}, journal={Mammal Research}, year={2015}, volume={60}, pages={181-188} }