Mammal Talk: Fruit gardens enhance mammal diversity and biomass in a Southeast Asian rainforest

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Talk synopsis:
As many protected areas are frequently inhabited by people, this can cause conflict between conservation practitioners and the local indigenous community.

This talk is about a study, located in Krau Wildlife Reserve, Pahang, Malaysia, which aimed to assess how traditional cultivation techniques of fruit gardens within a protected area by an indigenous community might affect terrestrial mammal abundance, diversity and assemblage composition.

They found that fruit gardens contained similar species richness and abundance levels but higher diversity and almost threefold higher mammal biomass. Fruit gardens contained five times as many fruit-producing trees and a positive correlation was found between the number of fruit trees and total mammal biomass.

Mammal community composition differed between the two habitats, with fruit gardens attracting eight species of conservation concern.

Their results suggest that traditional agroforestry systems may provide additional resources for mammals and therefore their net effects should be considered in conservation policy.

Jonathan Moore is a recently graduated masters student with an Mres in Conservation Biology from the University of Nottingham, UK Campus. He has just published his first lead author paper in Biological Conservation based on the data collected from his masters degree. He is currently working as a field assistant in Malaysia for a clouded leopard project, studying clouded leopard distribution, density and prey species, run by WILDCRU at Oxford University. He is also the project leader for the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network project located at Pasoh, Malaysia, collecting long term camera trap data on terrestrial mammal populations. His scientific interests are focused on understanding animal-plant interactions, animal seed dispersal and predator-prey interactions particularly in increasing degraded ecosystems.

All, including children, are welcome to attend this talk. Please register by sending your name and email address to

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