The Effects of Selective Logging on Malayan Sun Bears and Bearded Pigs, Borneo
The proposed study is designed to understand the impacts of selective logging in tropical forests on two sympatric omnivore species- Malayan sun bears and bearded pigs. Both species are forest dependent and fill a similar niche at ground level, being omnivores and having roles in seed dispersal and soil disturbance. Logging in Southeast Asia is resulting in the conversion of tropical rainforests into secondary forest communities and the fragmentation of vital habitat for sun bears, bearded pigs and other wildlife.
While human activities such as logging are certainly assumed a threat to wildlife habitat in the region, the direct and indirect effects of timber harvest on sun bears and bearded pigs are not known. This project seeks to identify critical resources for the survival of these species in logged regions. In this study, animal densities, seasonality of food abundance, food habits and physical condition will be compared for both sun bears and pigs in logged and primary forests. Fruit tree phenology, fruit production and relative levels of invertebrate prey will also be documented.
The proposed study will be conducted at the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in eastern Sabah on the island of Borneo. The reserve encompasses both selectively logged forest and primary forest. Since the remaining forests in Borneo will likely be converted to logged forests, it is important to understand the specific impact of this disruption to the region’s wildlife. The information gathered will aid in establishing conservation strategies, wildlife management and forestry practices that balance the plans to utilize the rainforests for human interests and the needs of the resident wildlife.
The Minnesota Zoo’s Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Program awarded “The Effects of Selective Logging on Malayan Sun Bears and Bearded Pigs in Lowland Tropical Rainforests of Borneo” $2300 in 2005 for its efforts to determine conservation concerns and management strategies for Malayan sun bears and bearded pigs in Borneo. Staff champions for this project are Christine McKnight and Larry Vorwerk, Tropics Zookeepers.