World Lagomorph Society
World Lagomorph Society
CAUGHT ON CAMERA TRAPS: SUMATRAN RABBIT AT THE KERINCI SEBLAT NATIONAL PARK
Friday, July 07, 2017

“The Kerinci Seblat National Park area covers four provinces of Sumatra and has the biggest protected area in the island. The park, established in 1986, aimed to protect the forest and its important function for the biodiversity.  For the first time in 1996, camera traps were placed in the park and since then, several surveys are conducted to not only register the animals present in the area, but more importantly monitoring the priority species (e.g. Tiger). Moreover, the camera trapping was a triumph in proofing the presence of the Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri).

The camera traps were placed in two distinct areas, Gunung Tujuh (mountain area near to Lake Tujuh) and the Sumatran Tiger Focus Area (STFA). The camera traps which were placed in 1998 and 2014 captured Sumatran striped rabbits in 2,000 – 2,200 m altitudes. On the other hand, in the STFA, the camera traps were placed in the years 2014-2016 capturing this species in elevations of 900 – 1,783 in hilly, low montane habitat. With the information collected from the cameras, it is confirmed its nocturnal activity, from 5 P.M. to 12 A.M. Also, the rabbits were captured solitary from all photographs and videos. No feeding activity was recorded, although from one video the rabbit was repeatedly jumping two times and looking around. In the end, this species individuals are also rare to find, where the probability to capture one is from 4,9x10-2 to 7,1x10-2 per 100 trap days.

The remote cameras succeeded in capturing the rare and endemic Sumatran striped rabbit. Specific survey design planning using camera traps is highly recommended to study this species distribution and behaviour to fill the knowledge gap and for its strategy and conservation action.

 

Irene M. R. Pinondang (irene.pinondang@fauna-flora.org) is a biodiversity officer of Fauna & Flora International-Indonesia Programme. She just started her carrier and has interest in ecology and conservation, and more focus on felids. Wido Rizki Albert is the Camera Trapping Coordinator of Sumatran Tiger Monitoring in Kerinci Seblat National Park for Fauna & Flora International -Indonesia Programme. His interest in wildlife led him to start working in conservation since 2013.