The Malaysia Carnivore Project was a field study on Peninsular Malaysia that used radio-telemetry to investigate the ecology of two small carnivore species: the Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga) and short-tailed mongoose (Herpestes brachyurus).

Summary

This study was undertaken in Krau Wildlife Reserve, from July 2004 to May 2007. During this period, we live-trapped eleven Malay civets, seven short-tailed mongooses, and two common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). We collected morphological data and genetic samples from all captured animals, and radio-tracked seven Malay civets (four males and three females) and five short-tailed mongooses (three males and two females). We also set up camera-traps within the reserve to detect carnivore species.

Study area

Krau Wildlife Reserve is the second largest wildlife reserve on Peninsular Malaysia and contains one of the largest remaining blocks of lowland forest. This is a 60,349 ha protected area comprising lowland, riverine and montane forest. A total of 115 mammal species have been recorded in KWR including 17 carnivore species and 39 species of small mammals. The main study area was along the edge of the reserve at Jenderak Selatan.

Methods

To capture small carnivores, we set live-traps along forest trails. Each trap was covered with rattan leaves and baited with meat and/or fruit.

 

We anaesthetised all captured animals, determined their sex, age, weight, reproductive status, and took morphometric data. We then ear-tagged and photographed each animal, and collected hair samples for genetic analysis.
We fitted a radio-collar around the necks of selected individuals and then radio-tracked them over several months. The data collected was analysed to determine home range sizes, spatial organisation, habitat use, and activity patterns.

To detect carnivore species within the reserve, we attached camera-traps to trees and left them in position for a minimum of one month.

 

Outputs   

  • Jennings A.P., A. Zubaid & G. Veron. 2010. Ranging behaviour, activity, habitat use, and morphology of the Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga) on Peninsular Malaysia and comparison with studies on Borneo and Sulawesi. Mammalian Biology 75: 437-446.
  • Jennings AP, A. Zubaid & G. Veron. 2010. Ranging behaviour, movements and activity of the short-tailed mongoose (Herpestes brachyurus) on Peninsular Malaysia. Mammalia 74: 43-50.
  • Terre Sauvage (French magazine): Sur la piste des petits carnivores. July 2006.
  • The Star (Malaysian newspaper): Tracking small hunters. 31 May 2005.

 

This was a collaborative project between the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Bangi, Malaysia) and PERHILITAN (Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Malaysia).

 

Banner design by Lynne Cullen. Photo credits: Andy Jennings and Stefano Unterthiner.