Publications and Research
Ecology of the Malay Civet (Viverra tangalunga) in a Logged and an Unlogged Forest in Sabah, East Malaysia
Malay civets in a dipterocarp rain forest were studied from December, 1995, through June, 1997, in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in Sabah, East Malaysia. To investigate the basic ecology of this species and explore the potential impact of selective logging, data on home range, activity and diet were collected on study animals in an unlogged and a selectively logged forest, and comparisons made.
Density in the unlogged forest was 1/0.46 km2 , and 1/1.07 km2 in the logged forest. Mean home range size based on a 95% minimum convex polygon was 110 ha. and did not differ between sites or genders. Mean home range overlap was 30.7% and showed no significant difference between site or gender. In areas of overlap, study animals tended to avoid one another. Females were consistent in their avoidance of other females, whereas males exhibited both avoidance and affiliative tendencies.
Activity levels were similar between forest types and genders, and averaged 55%. Peak activity occurred from 1800 to 0600 hours, during which mean activity levels equaled 81%. Day and night ranges overlapped extensively. In a single day, males traveled further and used more of their home range than females. Roads and trails were centrally located in all home ranges, but males were more affected by road traffic mortality than females. Day bed sites were located exclusively on the ground on well drained sites with high cover.
Diet was comprised primarily of invertebrates and fruit. Other diet items included insectivores, rodents, birds, snakes and lizards. Six species of tick and 16 species of internal parasite were identified from V. tangalunga , however parasite loads did not differ significantly between sites.
Although density was lower than previously reported and home range size was larger, these data indicate that V. tangalunga does not appear to be negatively impacted by selective logging. Proximity to unaffected habitat may facilitate recovery of populations in logged forests. Dietary flexibility may also facilitate survival under changing conditions. V. tangalunga is not an appropriate indicator species to assess the impact of logging on the wildlife community.
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