Habitat use of Bornean Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus morio) in an Industrial Forestry Plantation in East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Spehar, Stephanie N.
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Many primates now live in anthropogenic landscapes dominated by human activity such as agriculture. Conserving primates in such contexts requires detailed information about habitat use, including landscape features that may influence population viability. We studied Northeast Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus morio) habitat use in a forestry plantation in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. We conducted camera trapping and nest surveys at 13 locations across three habitat types in the plantation (planted acacia stands, planted eucalyptus stands, and secondary forest patches left uncut or allowed to regenerate) September 2012–March 2013, and calculated four measures of orangutan abundance for each location (independent photo captures/100 camera trap days, or RAI2; nest encounter rate; nest density; and orangutan density). Orangutans are relatively common in the plantation; they used all three habitat types and exhibited a higher RAI2 than 70% of other mammal species detected. A logistic regression found that proximity to natural forest areas best predicted orangutan abundance calculated using camera trap data (RAI2) but that habitat type combined with distance to natural forest best predicted orangutan abundance calculated using nest counts. This suggests that orangutans use planted areas for movement and feeding, but rely on patches of natural forest for resting and access to key resources. Our study and others indicate that orangutans can coexist with some human activities if provided with sufficient access to natural forest. However, we must conduct further research to facilitate effective conservation planning, including gathering additional details about habitat and resource use and possible long-term population impacts.
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