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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12054417

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 12054417) - Dhole - Awarded $5,000 on October 16, 2012

Overview of Project:
Population estimates of Dholes (Cuon alpinus) in Peninsular Malaysia have yet to be determined, in part due to their low detection rates in rainforests. Without sufficient knowledge on their conservation status, however, it would be difficult to prescribe management interventions to help conserve this species. During our camera-trapping surveys, a group of five individuals was recorded in the Kenyir wildlife corridor. Apart from this species, other threatened (i.e., Endangered and Vulnerable IUCN threat status) carnivore species that can be found in the same habitat include the Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni), Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata). Unfortunately, this corridor is threatened by potential conversion to rubber plantations and infrastructure and gathering more information on the conservation status of Dholes and other carnivores can be used to justify calls for gazettement of this corridor as a ‘no-conversion' area.

Purpose of Project:
Evaluate the effectiveness of scent-baited traps to obtain hair samples from Dholes and other threatened carnivores in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor

Scent-baited hair trapping may be unsuitable for the collection of hair samples from Dholes in Malaysia, in part due their occurrence at very low densities within the landscape. This method may also be unsuitable in areas with significant elephant presence as there does not appear to be any way of securing the hair traps against damage by elephants. Nevertheless, this technique requires further investigation as positive rubbing responses were recorded for two carnivores: Malayan Tiger and Clouded Leopard. However, two Clouded leopard individuals did not display rubbing responses and therefore this method may be inappropriate for mark-recapture population monitoring for this and other species due to the possibility of false non-detections. Thus, scent-baited hair-trapping may only help answer certain ecological questions such as understanding the genetic diversity of individuals within a carnivore population.


Project 12054417 location - Malaysia, Asia