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Crespo Mingueza, Laia, 2018. Presence and habitat use of the endangered Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the INIKEA rehabilitation project site (Sabah, Malaysia) : a pilot study. Second cycle, A2E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

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Abstract

The endangered Bornean elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) are endemic to the island of Borneo and their survival is being threatened by palm oil production, poaching and human-elephant conflicts. In Central Sabah (Malaysia), the conversion of forests into commercial plantations has led to habitat fragmentation and human-elephant conflicts. The present pilot study aimed to assess the suitability of a protected forest reserve in Central Sabah (INIKEA Forest Rehabilitation project site) for elephants, assess elephant distribution at the site and document the presence of other terrestrial mammals. This was done using a combination of wildlife surveys. The potential role of this forest reserve in wildlife management and conservation is as well discussed.

This study confirms the presence of the Bornean elephant and other endangered mammals like the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) at the INIKEA site. Results indicate that single bulls, bachelor groups, small family units and herds use this site, which has 8,356ha (42% of the total extension) of suitable elephant habitat. This preliminary assessment suggests that the elephants travel through the main road as well as roam and feed in forested areas and old roads that are mainly flat, relatively easy to access from the main road and nearby rivers. Results also indicate that this site can play an important role as a corridor for the elephants to connect with other forest reserves in Central Sabah and as a refuge to avoid areas highly disturbed by humans. The findings suggest that the rehabilitation of degraded lands and protection of forests can play a key role on the conservation of endangered species and provide a basis to conduct further in-depth surveys and long-term monitoring in the area. Further research is needed to better understand elephant movements in this changing landscape and systematically assess the status of mammalian fauna in the reforested areas.

Main title:Presence and habitat use of the endangered Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the INIKEA rehabilitation project site (Sabah, Malaysia)
Subtitle:a pilot study
Authors:Crespo Mingueza, Laia
Supervisor:Singh, Navinder and Ilstedt, Ulrik
Examiner:Hjältén, Joakim
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2018:9
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:restoration, conservation, elephant, space use, camera traps
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-9684
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-9684
Subjects:Nature conservation and land resources
Language:English
Deposited On:06 Sep 2018 07:23
Metadata Last Modified:06 Sep 2018 07:23

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