Tropical forests comprise a critically impacted habitat, and it is known that altered forests host a lower diversity of mammal communities. In this study, we investigated the mammal communities of two areas in Myanmar with similar environmental conditions but with great differences in habitat degradation and human disturbance. The main goal was to understand the status and composition of these communities in an understudied area like Myanmar at a broad scale. Using camera trap data from a three‐year‐long campaign and hierarchical occupancy models with a Bayesian formulation, we evaluated the biodiversity level (species richness) and different ecosystem functions (diet and body mass), as well as the occupancy values of single species as a proxy for population density. We found a lower mammal diversity in the disturbed area, with a significantly lower number of carnivores and herbivores species. Interestingly, the area did not show alteration in its functional composition. Almost all the specific roles in the community were present except for apex predators, thus suggesting that the effects of human disturbance are mainly ef-fecting the communities highest levels. Furthermore, two species showed significantly lower oc-cupancies in the disturbed area during all the monitoring campaigns: one with a strong pressure for bushmeat consumption and a vulnerable carnivore threatened by illegal wildlife trade.

Camera trapping to assess status and composition of mammal communities in a biodiversity hotspot in Myanmar

Cremonesi G.;Bisi F.;Mazzamuto M. V.;Gagliardi A.;Wauters L. A.;Preatoni D. G.;Martinoli A.
2021

Abstract

Tropical forests comprise a critically impacted habitat, and it is known that altered forests host a lower diversity of mammal communities. In this study, we investigated the mammal communities of two areas in Myanmar with similar environmental conditions but with great differences in habitat degradation and human disturbance. The main goal was to understand the status and composition of these communities in an understudied area like Myanmar at a broad scale. Using camera trap data from a three‐year‐long campaign and hierarchical occupancy models with a Bayesian formulation, we evaluated the biodiversity level (species richness) and different ecosystem functions (diet and body mass), as well as the occupancy values of single species as a proxy for population density. We found a lower mammal diversity in the disturbed area, with a significantly lower number of carnivores and herbivores species. Interestingly, the area did not show alteration in its functional composition. Almost all the specific roles in the community were present except for apex predators, thus suggesting that the effects of human disturbance are mainly ef-fecting the communities highest levels. Furthermore, two species showed significantly lower oc-cupancies in the disturbed area during all the monitoring campaigns: one with a strong pressure for bushmeat consumption and a vulnerable carnivore threatened by illegal wildlife trade.
Camera trapping; Human disturbance; Mammal community; Occupancy; Species richness
Cremonesi, G.; Bisi, F.; Gaffi, L.; Zaw, T.; Naing, H.; Moe, K.; Aung, Z.; Mazzamuto, M. V.; Gagliardi, A.; Wauters, L. A.; Preatoni, D. G.; Martinoli, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/2109507
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