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Can camera traps monitor Komodo dragons a large ectothermic predator?

Ariefiandy, Achmad, Purwandana, Deni, Seno, Aganto, Ciofi, Claudio and Jessop, Tim S. 2013, Can camera traps monitor Komodo dragons a large ectothermic predator?, PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 3, Article Number : e58800, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058800.

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Title Can camera traps monitor Komodo dragons a large ectothermic predator?
Author(s) Ariefiandy, Achmad
Purwandana, Deni
Seno, Aganto
Ciofi, Claudio
Jessop, Tim S.
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 8
Issue number 3
Season Article Number : e58800
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Camera trapping has greatly enhanced population monitoring of often cryptic and low abundance apex carnivores. Effectiveness of passive infrared camera trapping, and ultimately population monitoring, relies on temperature mediated differences between the animal and its ambient environment to ensure good camera detection. In ectothermic predators such as large varanid lizards, this criterion is presumed less certain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of camera trapping to potentially monitor the population status of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), an apex predator, using site occupancy approaches. We compared site-specific estimates of site occupancy and detection derived using camera traps and cage traps at 181 trapping locations established across six sites on four islands within Komodo National Park, Eastern Indonesia. Detection and site occupancy at each site were estimated using eight competing models that considered site-specific variation in occupancy (ψ)and varied detection probabilities (p) according to detection method, site and survey number using a single season site occupancy modelling approach. The most parsimonious model [ψ (site), p (site survey); ω = 0.74] suggested that site occupancy estimates differed among sites. Detection probability varied as an interaction between site and survey number. Our results indicate that overall camera traps produced similar estimates of detection and site occupancy to cage traps, irrespective of being paired, or unpaired, with cage traps. Whilst one site showed some evidence detection was affected by trapping method detection was too low to produce an accurate occupancy estimate. Overall, as camera trapping is logistically more feasible it may provide, with further validation, an alternative method for evaluating long-term site occupancy patterns in Komodo dragons, and potentially other large reptiles, aiding conservation of this species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0058800
Field of Research 060801 Animal Behaviour
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081783

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.