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A little-known endemic caught in the South-east Asian extinction crisis: the Annamite striped rabbit Nesolagus timminsi

  • Andrew Tilker (a1), An Nguyen (a1), Jesse F. Abrams (a1), Tejas Bhagwat (a1), Minh Le (a2), Thanh Van Nguyen (a1), Anh Tuan Nguyen (a2), Jürgen Niedballa (a1), Rahel Sollmann (a3) and Andreas Wilting (a1)...
Abstract

The Annamite mountains of Viet Nam and the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao) are an area of exceptional mammalian endemism but intensive poaching has defaunated much of the region, creating an extinction crisis for the endemic species. To make efficient use of limited conservation resources, it is imperative that conservation stakeholders obtain basic information about poorly known and threatened endemics. We present the first comprehensive information on the ecology, distribution and status of the little-known endemic Annamite striped rabbit Nesolagus timminsi. We used a systematic camera-trapping design to study the species in five areas in Viet Nam and Lao. In 29,180 camera-trap-nights we recorded 152 independent events at 36 of 266 stations. We obtained an additional 143 independent detections across 12 stations from a supplementary non-systematic survey. We analysed activity patterns and social behaviour. We also used single-species occupancy models to assess factors that influence occupancy at the landscape scale. We used N-mixture models to obtain local abundance estimates in one target area. The Annamite striped rabbit was found to be nocturnal and primarily solitary. Species occupancy was best explained by a proxy for past hunting pressure, with no significant relationships to current anthropogenic or environmental factors. Local abundance was 0.57 individuals per camera-trap station for one of our sites, and estimated to be zero at the other site where hunting appears to have been more intense. Our results provide information on priority areas for targeted anti-poaching efforts and give the first conservation baseline for the species.

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(Corresponding author) Email tilker@izw-berlin.de
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Also at: Global Wildlife Conservation, Austin, Texas, USA

Also at: Department of Geosciences, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

Also at: Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Viet Nam National University, Hanoi, Viet Nam

Supplementary material for this article is available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605318000534

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