The Javan Leopard Panthera pardus melas (Cuvier, 1809) (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) in West Java, Indonesia: estimating population density and occupancy

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Anton Ario
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1801-6196
Senjaya Mercusiana
Ayi Rustiadi
Robi Gumilang
I Gede Gelgel Darma Putra Wirawan
Toni Ahmad Slamet

Abstract

The Javan Leopard is endemic to the Indonesian island of Java and has been classified as Endangered. Reliable information about its population status, distribution, and density is lacking but are essential to guide conservation efforts and provide a benchmark for management decisions. Our study represents the first empirical density and occupancy estimates for the Leopard in West Java and provides baseline data for this region. We used camera trap data collected from February 2009 to October 2018 in six study areas comprising a sampling effort of 10,955 camera trap days in a total area of 793.5 km2. We identified 55 individual Leopards in these areas and estimated Leopard density using spatially explicit capture-recapture. Population density estimates range from 4.9 individuals/100 km2 in Gunung Guntur-Papandayan Nature Reserve to 16.04 individuals/100 km2 in Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park. Latter is among the globally highest Leopard densities. Based on detection data, we modelled single-season Leopard occupancy using three sampling covariates and eight site covariates. Modelling revealed that the two covariates forest cover and presence of Wild Boar are the strongest predictors for Leopard occupancy in our study areas. We recommend assessing and monitoring Leopard distribution, density and occupancy in other areas of Java and emphasize that a landscape approach for conservation of the Javan Leopard is imperative.

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