Corner image home
Conservation of Carnivores paw
Clouded Leopard Conservation and Research in Borneo
Wildlife Surveys in Segaluid Lokan Forest Reserve (KTS Plantations)

Investigators: Andreas Wilting and Azlan bin Mohamed

Conservation of Carnivores in Sabah (ConCaSa) is a joint project by the Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research, the Sabah Forestry Department, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and WFF-Malaysia. Between October 2009 and May 2010 ConCaSa conducted wildlife surveys in the Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve, which is managed by KTS Plantation Sdn Bhd, in order to document the abundance of large mammals and carnivores.

While Bornean lowland forests are extensive, they have not been uniformly conserved, leading to highly fragmented 'total-protection' areas surrounded by variable-quality commercial forests reserves. The effect of this fragmentation on flagship species is somewhat understood, but conservationists lack information on many hundreds of smaller species, including endemic carnivores such as the clouded leopard.

ConCaSa's main objective is to use camera-trapping to compare the distribution of carnivores between forest reserves and compare the impact of different forestry management practices. Previous studies by Wilting and Azlan bin Mohamed were undertaken in the neighboring Dermakot Forest Reserve.

Camera traps have previously been shown to be effective at recording the presence of medium-sized mammals, although arboreal species are often absent. In this study camera trap networks, night spotlight surveys, and daytime transect surveys were used to document thirty-nine different mammal species in Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve, including otter civet, clouded leopard, and orangutan. Low-impact selective logging practices have been shown to offer the greatest potential for this forest to recovery from previous deforestation. This should ensure the conservation of the areas high biodiversity.

The Site

Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve is located north-east of Deramakot Forest Reserve in the Sabah District of Sandakan between longitudes 117° 23’ E and 117° 39’ E and latitudes 5° 20’ N and 5° 27’ N. Segaliud Lokan encompasses an area of approximately 570 km².

The site has a long history of unsustainable logging and came under the control of KTS Plantation Sdn Bhd in 1994. KTS Plantation moved to reduced impact logging in 1998 and is today managed under a natural forest management concept. A minor fraction of the forest is rubber plantation.


116 camera traps were set up in the northern section of Segaliud Lokan. Traps were set up in pairs, allowing for individual identification. These were placed along roads, former logging roads, rivers, creeks, and game trails. Each site also received habitat characterization. Every ten days the cameras were visited to recover photographs and check batteries. After fifty days the cameras were moved to an adjacent, unsurveyed area of the park. This allowed the researchers to cover approx. 114 km².

Habitat characterization was performed through taking both vegetation measurements (canopy height, DBH of nearby trees, canopy cover, and understory vegetation density) and also noting signs of disturbance, water resources, fruiting trees, and pioneer and climax trees.

Day transect surveys were conducted along trails and roads and noted animal tracks, droppings, or other signs of activity (including direct sightings). Roads are useful for daytime transects because forest trails are often too cluttered to note more subtle signals. Each transect was sampled ten times. Night spotlight surveys were conducted from roads out of the back of a pickup. A video camera was used to record any animals.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Sagaliud Lokan is an extremely valuable reserve of Borneo's lowland forest. This wildlife study revealed a great diversity of mammals. Over the six-month operating period 4500 wildlife photographs were taken of 36 different mammal species, including several highly threatened species. Systematic camera trapping accounted for 3836 of these photographs with 5731 trap-nights performed. A list of the mammal species recorded can be found below.

In addition to surveying wildlife, the researchers also found evidence of illegal poaching and encroachment. Furthermore, feral dogs were also found near the base camp and throughout the forest. These dogs should be curbed by KTS Plantation officials, as they not only prey upon endemic species but also may spread pathogens such as rabies or distemper.

This survey recommends that mammal surveys should continue after the study concludes. To that end, 20 more camera traps are requested to be permanently running at different locations throughout the forest. Night-spotlight and primate surveys should also be performed. Removal of wild dogs and stricter control of illegal encroachment also fall to the KTS Plantation. Bag and vehicles inspections should be performed when entering or exiting the rubber plantations or neighboring oil palm plantations. Night patrols within and in vicinity of the forest reserve are also recommended. Hopefully, these continued efforts should help the forest recover from past logging activity and encourage species from the nearby Deramakot will return to Segaluid Lokan.

Mammals Recorded During the Camera-Trapping Surveys
Scientific Name Common Name
Neofelis diardi Sunda clouded leopard
Pardofelis marmorata Marbled cat
Prionailurus bengalensis Leopard cat
Viverra tangalunga Malay civet
Paradoxurus hermaphroditus Common palm civet
Hemigalus derbyanus Branded palm civet
Cynogale bennettii Otter civet
Arctictis binturong Bearcat / Binturong
Arctogalidia trivirgata Small-toothed palm civet
Prionodon linsang Banded Linsang
Aonyx cinerea Asian Small-clawed otter
Lutra perspicillata Smooth-coated otter
Martes flavigula Yellow-throated marten
Mydaus javanensis Sunda stink badger
Herpestes semitorquatus Collared mongoose
Herpestes brachyurus Short-tailed mongoose
Helarctos malayanus Malayan sun bear
Hystrix brachyura Malayan porcupine
Hystrix crasssipines Thick-spined porcupine
Trichys fasciculata Long-tailed porcupine
Nycticebus coucang Greater slow loris
Macaca nemestrina Southern pig-tailed macaque
Macaca fascicularis Crab-eating macaque
Pongo pygmaeus Orang-utan
Sus barbatus Bearded pig
Rusa unicolor Sambar deer
Muntiacus atherodes Bornean yellow muntjac
Muntiacus muntjac Southern red muntjac
Tragulus napu Greater chevrotain
Tragulus javanicus Javan chevrotain
Bos javanicus Banteng
Echinosorex gymnura Moonrat
Manis javanicus Malayan pangolin
Elephas maximus Asian elephant

Clouded leopard Clouded leopard

Leopard catLeopard cat

Flat-headed catMalay civet

Banded Palm CivetBorneo Pygmy Elephant