Bird Conservation International

Research Article

Camera trapping rare and threatened avifauna in west-central Sumatra

Yoan Dinataa1, Agung Nugrohoa1, Iding Achmad Haidira2 and Matthew Linkiea3 c1

a1 Fauna & Flora International-Indonesia Programme, Kerinci, Jambi, Indonesia

a2 Indonesian Department of Forestry, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Kerinci, Jambi, Indonesia

a3 Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NR, U.K

Abstract

Tropical forests are becoming increasingly degraded and fragmented by logging, which can affect the survival of forest bird species in different ways. In this study, we present avifauna data collected from a monitoring programme in west-central Sumatra that set camera traps in three study areas with different habitat types, levels of degradation and protection status. From 5,990 camera trap-nights, 248 independent bird photographs were recorded, comprising four orders and nine species, including three endemic species. The Great Argus Pheasant (Argusianus argus) was recorded in all study areas and most frequently (n = 202 photographs), followed by the threatened Salvadori's Pheasant (Lophura inornata). The greatest diversity of bird species (five) and abundance index (1.44 bird photographs/100 trap-nights) was recorded from a primary hill-submontane forest site located inside Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP) bordering degraded forest in a former logging concession recently repatriated into KSNP. However, inside a primary-selectively logged hill-submontane forest site spread over KSNP and an ex-logging concession, a Sumatran Ground Cuckoo (Carpococcyx viridis) was photographed. This species is noteworthy because prior to this study it had only been documented once since 1916. It is therefore crucial to use the camera trap results to increase the protection status for the ground cuckoo area. This has already happened in the other two study areas, where camera trap data have been used to reclassify the areas as Core Zones, the highest level of protection inside KSNP. This study illustrates how routine monitoring can have wider benefits through recording, and conserving, threatened and endemic non-target species in unexpected habitats that might not otherwise have been surveyed.

(Received November 16 2006)

(Accepted June 06 2007)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence; e-mail: m.linkie@kent.ac.uk