Population density estimation of meso-mammal carnivores using camera traps without the individual recognition in Maduru Oya National Park, Sri Lanka
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Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
3165/12 Park Road Colombo 5, Sri Lanka
Dharshani Mahaulpatha   

University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Online publication date: 2021-10-04
Publication date: 2021-10-04
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2021;32(2):137–146
Reliable population estimates are crucial for the conservation and management of faunal species. Population data of meso-mammal carnivores in Sri Lanka, as well as elsewhere in the world, is scarce. We estimated population densities of meso-mammal carnivores in Maduru Oya National Park (MONP) using Random Encounter Model (REM) and Camera Trap Distance Sampling (CTDS) methods in this study. A total of 3402 camera trapping days yielded 3357 video captures of 69 different animal taxa including 658 video captures of meso-mammal carnivores. In this study, we recorded all 12 meso-mammal carnivore species found on the island. The two density estimate methods generated similar population estimates indicating that both methods are compatible to be applied in tropical forest habitats for meso-carnivore species. We identify MONP as an area with high richness for the focal species. The study also generated movement speed, activity patterns, activity levels, and day ranges for the focal species, which will be useful for future research. We discuss the population density estimates for different meso-carnivore species and the use of REM and CTDS density estimation methods and their applicability to a tropical meso-carnivore community.
We appreciate the generous cooperation of the Maduru Oya National Park staff and the Department of Wildlife Conservation for granting permission to conduct this research. We would also like to express our gratitude to the University of Sri Jayewardenepura for the facilities granted and the financial support provided to conduct this research under the university grant ASP/01/RE/SCI/2018/31. We extend our gratitude to Mr. M.R. Mohamed (Former Park Warden, MONP), Mr. Suranga (MONP), team Wildlife Circle and Suweesha Amarakoon for their support on and off the fieldwork. We appreciate the encouraging comments of Dr. U.K.G.K. Padmalal and Prof. Mayuri R. Wijesinghe. We thank Dr. K. Ukuwela and Prof. Akira Mori for their support. We extend special thanks to Dr. Marcus Rowcliffe and Dr. Eric Howe for their comments and insights regarding the REM and CTDS methods. Authors would like to acknowledge the comments, by anonymous reviewers and editors of Hystrix, which helped us to immensely improve upon earlier drafts.
This research was supported by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura under the university grant ASP/01/RE/SCI/2018/31.