We present an assessment of the diversity of Malaysian bats at two contrasting habitat types (secondary forest and oil palm plantation) along the Kerian River surveyed between February 2009 and February 2010. Three hundred and twenty nine individual bats from 13 species representing 4 families were recorded using 10 mist nets. The most commonly caught bat in the secondary forest was Cynopterus brachyotis (n=75), followed by Macroglossus minimus (n=10). Meanwhile, in the oil palm plantation, the most commonly caught bat was Cynopterus brachyotis (n=109), followed by Cynopterus horsfieldi (n=76). The netting efforts were equal for both habitat types. The total sampling nights for each habitat type was 5460. The oil palm plantation had a greater bat abundance that was significantly different from that of the secondary forest, with 209 and 120 individuals, respectively (Mann-Whitney U-test = 31.5, p<0.05). Our results suggest that there is no significant difference in species richness between the two sites. However, the invasion by disturbance-associated species of the secondary forest is indicative of negative effects on the forest and animal diversity in this area. Forest managers should consider multiple measures of forest fragmentation sensitivity before making any forest management decisions.
A study of the population size of Bandicota bengalensis rats in three markets in Penang was conducted from April 2004 through May 2005. Taman Tun Sardon Market (TTS), Batu Lanchang Market (BTLG) and Bayan Lepas Market (BYNLP) were surveyed. Six sampling sessions were conducted in each market for four consecutive nights per session. The total captures of B. bengalensis in TTS, BTLG and BYNLP were 92%, 73% and 89% respectively. The total population of B. bengalensis in TTS was estimated as 265.4 (with a 95% confidence interval of 180.9-424.2). The total population at BTLG was estimated as 69.9 (with a 95% confidence interval of 35.5-148.9). At BYNLP, the total population was estimated as 134.7 (with a 95% confidence interval of 77.8-278.4). In general, adult male rats were captured most frequently at each site (55.19%), followed by adult females (31.69%), juvenile males (9.84%) and juvenile females (3.27%). The results showed that the number of rats captured at each site differed significantly according to sex ratio and maturity (χ(2) = 121.45, df = 3, p<0.01). Our results suggest that the population sizes found by the study may not represent the actual population size in each market owing to the low numbers of rats recaptured. This finding might have resulted from the variety of foods available in the markets.
The diversity and the feeding guilds of birds in three different habitats (secondary forest, oil palm plantation and paddy field) were investigated in riparian areas of the Kerian River Basin (KRB), Perak, Malaysia. Point-count observation and mist-netting methods were used to determine bird diversity and abundance. A total of 132 species of birds from 46 families were recorded in the 3 habitats. Species diversity, measured by Shannon's diversity index, was 3.561, 3.183 and 1.042 in the secondary forest, the paddy field and the oil palm plantation, respectively. The vegetation diversity and the habitat structure were important determinants of the number of bird species occurring in an area. The relative abundance of the insectivore, insectivore-frugivore and frugivore guilds was greater in the forest than in the monoculture plantation. In contrast, the relative abundance of the carnivore, granivore and omnivore guilds was higher in the plantation. The results of the study show that the conversion of forest to either oil palm plantation or paddy fields produced a decline in bird diversity and changes in the distribution of bird feeding guilds.