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Hunting pressure a key contributor to the impending extinction of Bornean wild cattle

Gardner, Penny, Goossens, Benoit ORCID:, Bin Abu Bakar, Soffian and Bruford, Michael ORCID: 2021. Hunting pressure a key contributor to the impending extinction of Bornean wild cattle. Endangered Species Research 45 , pp. 225-235. 10.3354/esr01112

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Widespread and unregulated hunting of ungulates in Southeast Asia is resulting in population declines and localised extinctions. Increased access to previously remote tropical forest following logging and changes in land-use facilitates hunting of elusive wild cattle in Borneo, which preferentially select secluded habitat. We collated the first population parameters for the Endangered Bornean banteng Bos javanicus lowi and developed population models to simulate the effect of different hunting offtake rates on survival and the recovery of the population using reintroduced captive-bred individuals. Our findings suggest that the banteng population in Sabah is geographically divided into 4 management units based on connectivity: the Northeast, Sipitang (West), Central and Southeast, which all require active management to prevent further population decline and local extinction. With only 1% offtake, population growth ceased in the Northeast and Sipitang. In the Southeast and Central units, growth ceased at 2 and 4% offtake, respectively. Extinction was estimated at 21-39 yr when offtake was 5%, occurring first in Sipitang and last in the Central unit. Supplementing the population with captive-bred individuals suggested that inbreeding was likely to limit population growth if using ≤20 founder individuals. Translocating 2 individuals for a 10 yr period, starting after 20 yr of captive breeding resulted in a faster population recovery over 100 yr and a lower extinction probability. Our results suggest that shielding the population against further losses from hunting will be key to their survival in the wild, provided that active management in the form of captive breeding is developed in the interim.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Additional Information: Open Access under Creative Commons by Attribution Licence. Use, distribution and reproduction are un -restricted. Authors and original publication must be credited.
Publisher: Inter Research
ISSN: 1863-5407
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 January 2021
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 02:45

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