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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 45.2 (2022) Pages: 225-236

Camera trap data reveal the habitat associations, activity patterns and population density of Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in Maduru Oya National Park, Sri Lanka

Jayasekara , D., Dharmarathne , W. D. C., Padmalal, U. K. K., Mahaulpatha, W. A. D.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0225

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Abstract

The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) is a solitary, medium–sized mammal native to South Asia. In this study we used camera trap data recorded during a meso–mammal survey conducted from January 2019 to January 2021 to assess the occupancy, habitat associations, population density and activity patterns of Indian pangolins in Maduru Oya National Park (MONP), Sri Lanka. The preferred habitat of the species was dry–mixed forest with an occupancy probability of 0.42 ± 0.19. Occupancy modeling revealed the association of the species with the forested habitats of the park with rich canopy cover, high NDVI scores and abundant termite mounds. Activity of this pangolin was highly nocturnal, reaching a peak after midnight. We observed a considerable spatiotemporal overlap in Indian pangolin activity and human activity, possibly increasing hunting pressure on the species. We estimated occupancy and abundance–based population density (0.73 ± 0.21 indiv./km2) using the random encounter model for the first time in the study area. These findings could be useful for conservation and management decisions concerning the survival and vital habitats of one of the most trafficked mammals in the world, the Indian pangolin.

Keywords

Indian pangolin, Activity patterns, Habitat associations, Population density, Distribution modeling, Occupancy modeling

Cite

Jayasekara , D., Dharmarathne , W. D. C., Padmalal, U. K. K., Mahaulpatha, W. A. D., 2022. Camera trap data reveal the habitat associations, activity patterns and population density of Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in Maduru Oya National Park, Sri Lanka. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 45: 225-236, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0225

Reception date:

10/01/2022

Acceptation date:

20/06/2022

Publication date:

13/07/2022

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