This camera-shy leopard is part of our latest project update courtesy of Laurie, our current volunteer who’ll be with us till February next year. Besides helping to hold the fort for Reuben’s project up in Gerik, Laurie’s main mission is to test out the efficacy of hair traps in the Malaysian rainforest – something he’s started trialing since he joined us in September. This pilot project is part of our ongoing mammal surveys in Perak and Terengganu and was made possible through generous funding from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
Laurie and Reuben have been conducting these trials for a new way to shed light on the status of one of the more rare and elusive species of carnivore. So far, Dholes or Asiatic Wild Dogs (Cuon alpinus) have been detected several times at both of these locations. Yet very little is known about this endangered animal, and in an environment notorious for its difficulty to detect species at low density, the challenges in monitoring them are substantial. If hair samples could be collected from these, or other carnivores, they will put together a larger proposal to study their population/density/range size, group association, genetic relationships.
But how to get these samples? Continue reading