Monday, January 31, 2011

Capturing carnivores in Kinabatangan on camera

KINABATANGAN: Sabah Wildlife Department, Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), the NGO HUTAN and WildCRU recently launched the “Kinabatangan Carnivore Programme” with funding from four American zoos, Houston, Columbus, Cincinnati and Phoenix, and private donors in New York.

“The Kinabatangan Carnivore Programme, initiated by our Department, will intend to advance understanding, and the conservation, of the diverse carnivores of the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain,” explained Dr Laurentius Ambu, Director of the Sabah Wildlife Department.

“For this, we are collaborating with Andrew Hearn from WildCRU (University of Oxford, UK) who spent the last four years studying clouded leopards and other carnivores in Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve. His experience with camera trapping is primordial for the success of this project,” added Ambu.

“It will be a long-term programme which aims to provide insights into Bornean carnivore ecology and density and develop Bornean carnivore species distribution and habitat suitability models,” said Dr Benoit Goossens, Director of the Danau Girang Field Centre.

“It is crucial for us, wildlife conservationists and managers, to find out about what dispersal opportunities exist for these carnivores and other mammals within the fragmented landscape of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, and how might dispersal corridors be protected, enhanced and restored,” added Goossens.

“Last November, we were extremely pleased to find a sequence of 12 pictures showing a clouded leopard female and her cub walking along a trail. These two individuals were also recorded in December on most of our cameras along a thin corridor of forest between the river and a plantation,” explained Rob Colgan and Rodi Tenquist, two undergraduates from Cardiff University, who are spending a year at DGFC during their professional training year and are providing field assistance to the project.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Capturing carnivores in Kinabatangan on camera

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