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Large Mammal Use of Linear Remnant Forests in an Industrial Pulpwood Plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia

By 1st December 2016 April 19th, 2018 Conservation Papers

Abstract

Riparian forests are often the last remaining areas of natural vegetation in agricultural and plantation forestry landscapes. Covering millions of hectares of land in Indonesia, industrial pulpwood plantations have rapidly replaced native forests. Our study aimed to better understand the conservation importance of linear remnants of riparian forest by examining their use by larger (>1 kg) mammal species. Our study site was located within an extensive acacia (Acacia mangium) plantation adjoining Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia. Camera traps were used to detect mammals at 57 sites to assess the effects of corridor design and land cover covariates and species behavioral traits on mammal habitat use of four linear riparian forests. We recorded 17 species (including one International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN] Critically Endangered, two Endangered, and four Vulnerable) in riparian forests inside the plantation, including the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), Malay tapir (Tapirus indicus), and sun bear (Helarctos malayanus). Some threatened species were only detected in the park buffer zone. Species varied in their responses to riparian forests, but distance to the national park, remnant width, and percent forest cover around the camera site were common predictors of remnant use. Many mammal species used riparian forests regardless of whether they were surrounded by intact acacia forests or recently cleared land. Our results indicate that linear remnant riparian forests 200 m in width can facilitate local (< 4 km) movements of many large mammal species in Sumatra, but wider riparian remnants would likely be more effective at promoting mammal movements over longer distances.

Betsy Yaap, Ainhoa Magrach, Gopalasamy Reuben Clements, Christopher J. W. McClure, Gary D. Paoli, and William F. Laurance. (2016) Large Mammal Use of Linear RemnantForests in an Industrial Pulpwood Plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia, Tropical Conservation Science October-December 2016: 1–13