Introduction:The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) is one of the least known cat species in the world, making basic research on the ecology of clouded leopards a priority. Recently classified as a distinct species, the Sunda clouded leopard is under heavy pressure from habitat loss and hunting. The Bornean sub-species (Neofelis diardi ssp. borneensis) is listed on the IUCN Red List as Endangered and if rates of deforestation continue, the population is expected to decline to less than one-third of its current numbers by 2020.
Research Goal – Determine how various habitat types and disturbance regimes impacts clouded leopard activity in and near Wehea Forest
Objective 1: Estimate clouded leopard density and activity in a recently logged forest
Objective 2: Estimate clouded leopard density and activity in a mountainous primary forest
Objective 3: Compare data sets with results from previous clouded leopard research in Wehea
This project aims to shed light on the impact of logging on clouded leopard populations in and near Wehea Forest. In addition, population densities will be estimated from 3 different habitat types (1 from 2012 study). Up to fifty camera traps (25 stations) will be placed in twelve logging concession sub-blocks bordering Wehea Forest. Cameras will be placed on trees along logging roads within 1 week of conclusion of logging activity in a each sub-block and will remain in place until October 2013. A second set of fifty camera traps will be placed in primary forest in remote areas of Wehea Forest, 15 km from the nearest camera trap locations from ICon’s 2012 clouded leopard study. Sugianto, a Wehea Dayak university student supported by Integrated Conservation, will assist with the study in the primary forest. This will be the first indigenous led research project in Wehea forest. Densities will be estimated using spatially explicit capture recapture (same methods from 2012 study) and analyzed using JAGS in the program R. Data from these three disturbance regimes will help better understand the ecological requirements and resilience of the Bornean clouded leopard.
Brent Loken is principal investigator on the clouded leopard research and camera trapping studies in Wehea. He is Executive Director of Integrated Conservation, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholar, Vanier Scholar and currently a PhD student at Simon Fraser University. Brent has been involved in work with Wehea since 2009.
Nunuk Kasyanto– Nunuk is the Research and Education Coordinator for Integrated Conservation and will help organize this study. He has extensive knowledge of the forest, the biodiversity found in Wehea and experience working with the Wehea rangers. He has been documenting the biodiversity in Wehea since 2007. His passion and dedication to Wehea is an inspiration.