RESEARCH PAPER
Watching a movie or going for a walk? Testing different Sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) occupancy monitoring schemes
 
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Istituto Oikos - Via Crescenzago 1, 20134 Milano
2
Unità di Analisi e Gestione delle Risorse Ambientali - Guido Tosi Research Group - Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate. Università degli Studi dell'Insubria. Via J. H. Dunant, 3 - I-21100 Varese
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Giacomo Cremonesi   

Unità di Analisi e Gestione delle Risorse Ambientali - Guido Tosi Research Group - Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate. Università degli Studi dell'Insubria. Via J. H. Dunant, 3 - I-21100 Varese
Online publication date: 2019-12-23
Publication date: 2019-12-23
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(2):178–182
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ABSTRACT
Size and distribution of wild populations are key elements in determining their conservation status, especially for vulnerable and elusive species, therefore choosing the proper monitoring method is fundamental to estimate population indices and consequently address conservation actions. In this study we worked in Rakhine State (Myanmar) applying and comparing two occupancy-based sampling methods to evaluate Sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) presence: camera traps and sign survey (line transects). Moreover to apply occupancy models it is necessary to establish length (time or space) of sampling occasion, therefore we tested for both methodologies four different sampling intensities to explore if results are affected by different temporal or spatial replicates. Both occupancy and detectability values varied between the two methods: we found lower values from camera traps analysis with no differences between different sampling occasions/segment lengths. Sign survey showed higher values for both parameters but changes in spatial segment lengths (line transects) affects occupancy estimates. Overall camera traps represent a more appropriate tool to study Sun bears in tropical forests as in our study area. Our results provide useful information to plan an appropriate monitoring scheme for bears in tropical forests.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We are grateful to Ministry Of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) and to Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division (NWCD) of Myanmar for their participation and for the constant support to the monitoring activities. We like to thank the field staff consisting of U Win Lin Aung, U Than Tun Win, U Maung Phyu, U Naing Lin So and the park rangers U Aung Kyaw Myint, U Ye Win Naing and U Phyo Min Thu for their deep commitment showed throughout the data collection.
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914