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Factors affecting seasonal habitat use, and predicted range of two tropical deer in Indonesian rainforest

Rahman, Dede Aulia, Gonzalez, Georges, Haryono, Mohammad, Muhtarom, Aom, Firdaus, Asep Yayus, Aulagnier, Stéphane
Acta oecologica 2017 v.82 pp. 41-51
Axis kuhlii, Muntiacus muntjak, camera trapping, climatic factors, cultivation area, deer, dry season, habitat preferences, habitats, landscapes, models, photographs, rain, rain forests, secondary forests, tropical forests
There is an urgent recognized need for conservation of tropical forest deer. In order to identify some environmental factors affecting conservation, we analyzed the seasonal habitat use of two Indonesian deer species, Axis kuhlii in Bawean Island and Muntiacus muntjak in south-western Java Island, in response to several physical, climatic, biological, and anthropogenic variables. Camera trapping was performed in different habitat types during both wet and dry season to record these elusive species. The highest number of photographs was recorded in secondary forest and during the dry season for both Bawean deer and red muntjac. In models, anthropogenic and climatic variables were the main predictors of habitat use. Distances to cultivated area and to settlement were the most important for A. kuhlii in the dry season. Distances to cultivated area and annual rainfall were significant for M. muntjak in both seasons. Then we modelled their predictive range using Maximum entropy modelling (Maxent). We concluded that forest landscape is the fundamental scale for deer management, and that secondary forests are potentially important landscape elements for deer conservation. Important areas for conservation were identified accounting of habitat transformation in both study areas.