Comparison of Small Mammal Communities in Logged and Unlogged Areas in the Proposed Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar
Khine Thazin Wai, Yongyut Trisurat, and Ronglarp Sukmasuang
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Abstract
The forest area in Myanmar has been gradually decreasing due to commercial logging and the expansion of agricultural area. The objective of this study was to investigate the response of small mammals in logged and unlogged areas of the proposed Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar. We used 180x180 m plot which consisted of 9 rows and 9 columns, 20-m apart, with a total of 81 traps. In addition, 3 replications representing habitat characteristics or disturbance levels in logged and unlogged areas were established and surveys were conducted during the rainy and cold season. Quantitative Sorensen Index and Shannon Weiner diversity Index (H) were used to estimate species similarity and diversity, respectively, while the capture-mark-recapture methods were used to estimate the population size and density. The results indicated that 201 individuals were captured and 10 small mammal species were identified. The three most common species were Tupaia belangeri, Rattus rattus, and Callosciurus finlaysonii. Species richness was higher (H = 1.94) in the unlogged forests due to increased habitat heterogeneities as a result of small scale extraction. In contrast, the abundance of individual species was greater in the logged areas. The estimated population size of Rattus rattus and Tupaia belangeri in human-dominated landscape was 17.0 individuals.ha-1 and 23.4 individuals.ha-1 in the logged areas, respectively, while there were 9.6 individuals.ha-1 and 16.0 individuals.ha-1 in the unlogged areas. The models were not able to calculate the population size and density of the remaining eight species due to a limited sample size (n<20). It is concluded that the maintenance of mosaic and heterogeneous habitats is essential to enhance the small mammal diversity.
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