Population Densities Of Hylobates agiles In Forests With Different Disturbance Histories In Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, Malaysia

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan Lappan PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Small ape habitat throughout Malaysia is rapidly being lost, degraded, and fragmented, and the effects of these changes on the abundance on this taxon are currently unknown. This study assessed the group density of Hylobates agilis in virgin forest, previously logged forest (1960s–1990s), and recently logged forest (2015–2017) of the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve (UMFR), Kedah, Malaysia. We conducted fixed-point active acoustic triangulation at nine survey areas to estimate group density. We used vegetation “speed plots” and satellite imagery to quantify habitat characteristics and used model selection to identify ecological predictors of group density variation. The estimated group density of H. agilis in UMFR was 4.03 ± 0.14 groups km-2, with an estimated total of 2927 ± 102 groups in areas below 450m a.s.l. in UMFR. Group density did not differ significantly among habitat types. The best ecological predictors for group density were canopy cover and proportion of deforested area. Areas with recent deforestation were associated with relatively high group densities, suggesting compression of the populations persisting in these habitat types. The consistently high group densities detected in all forest types emphasizes the importance of degraded forest as habitat for H. agilis. Because of the threats to small apes in Malaysia, and the uncertain status of most populations, we recommend a nationwide population census and regular monitoring to inform conservation planning and implementation. Most urgently, we call for immediate and permanent protection of UMFR and other forests in the Greater Ulu Muda landscape to protect the globally significant populations of H. agilis, as well as other charismatic and threatened mega fauna, birds, and flora in the area.

Additional Information

Pang YH, Lappan S, Bartlett TQ, Mohd Sah SA, N. Rosely NF, Ruppert N. Population densities of Hylobates agilis in forests with different disturbance histories in Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, Malaysia. American journal of primatology. 2022;84(7). Publisher version of record available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ajp.23388
Language: English
Date: 2022
Hylobates agiles, Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, logging, ecology, degraded forests, population density, small apes

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