Tigers and Their Prey in Bukit Rimbang Bukit Baling: Abundance Baseline for Effective Wildlife Reserve Management

Abstract: Managing the critically endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) needs accurate information on its abundance and availability of prey at the landscape level. Bukit Rimbang Bukit Baling Wildlife Reserve in central Sumatra represents an important area for tigers at local, regional and global levels. The area has been recognized as a long-term priority Tiger Conservation Landscape. Solid baseline information on tigers and prey is fundamentally needed for the management. The objective of this study was to produce robust estimate of tiger density and prey a vailability in the reserve. We used camera traps to systematically collecting photographic samples of tigers and prey using Spatial Capture Recapture (SCR) framework. We estimated density for tigers and calculated trap success rate (TSR; independent pictures/100 trap nights) for main prey species. Three blocks in the reserve were sampled from 2012 to 2015 accumulating a total of 8,125 effective trap nights. We captured 14 tiger individuals including three cubs. We documented the highest density of tigers (individuals/100 km2) in southern sampling block (based on traditional capture recapture (TCR) : 1.52 ± SE 0.55; based on Maximum Likelihood (ML) SCR:0.51 ± SE 0.22) and the lowest in northeastern sampling block (TCR: 0.77 ±SE 0.39; ML SCR: 0.19 ± SE 0.16). The highest TSR of main prey (large ungulates and primates) was in northeastern block (35.01 ± SD 8.67) and the lowest was in southern block (12.42 ± SD 2.91). The highest level of disturbance, as indicated by TSR of people, was in northeastern sampling block (5.45 ± SD 5.64) and the lowest in southern (1.26 ± SD 2.41). The results suggested that human disturbance strongly determine the density of tigers in the area, more than prey availability. To recover tigers, suggested strategies include controlling human disturbance and poaching to the lowest possible level in addition to maintaining main prey availability.
Keywords: Capture-Mark-Recapture; closed population; habitat management; population viability; tiger recovery
Penulis: Febri Anggriawan Widodo, Stephanus Hanny, Eko Hery Satriyo Utomo, Zulfahmi -, Kusdianto -, Eka Septayuda, Tugio, Effendy Panjaitan, Leonardo Subali, Agung Suprianto, Karmila Parakkasi, Nurchalis Fadhli, Wishnu Sukmantoro, Ika Budianti, Sunarto
Kode Jurnal: jpkehutanandd170137

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