Species Composition and Use of Natural Salt Licks by Wildlife Inside a Production Forest Environment in Central Sarawak

In Anthropogenic Tropical Forests: Human–Nature Interfaces on the Plantation Frontier
Chapter: 9
Book Chapter

The island of Borneo is regarded as one of the most biologically rich regions in the world, containing some of the oldest remaining tropical rainforests. However, it also suffers high levels of deforestation and degradation to meet the demands for timber extraction and agricultural activities. In Sarawak, areas designated as permanent forests account for 35.2% of the total land area, much of which have already been opened up for timber extraction. In contrast, protected areas constitute less than 7% of the land area and are mostly sparsely distributed. Forests outside these protected areas are crucial for the conservation of wildlife. For long-term wildlife conservation to be effective, attention must be focused on how logging activities are carried out and how habitats for wildlife within these logging concessions are managed. This study was carried out in a logging concession in central Sarawak where sustainable forest management is practised. The objectives were to document the composition of wildlife, their use of key habitat sites and the effects of forest disturbance. Camera trapping exercises were carried out from August 2010 to November 2011. Preliminary results indicate that older logged-over areas contained higher diversity of animal species. Overall, 32 species of terrestrial mammals and ground-dwelling birds were recorded, of which 19 species were recorded to have visited salt licks. Ungulates were recorded visiting salt licks with the highest abundance. In forests that were logged 7 years ago and left to recover, the Borneo bay cat (Catopuma badia), a globally significant species, was recorded. This result indicates the importance of sustainable forest management and suggests some of the methods logging companies can undertake to conserve wildlife in a production forest environment.