P27: He may not have a transmitter but we can still track him

After the transmitter fell off two weeks ago, we put up camera traps at all his previously used den sites; a method that has worked well for finding both P33 and P34. To our relief, and interest, he has been photographed at a den site that he has reused on numerous occasions.

IMAG0016

This is incredibly interesting behavior as male Sunda pangolins were thought to have low fidelity to a den site. As mentioned in a previous post this may be due to the habitat of his provenance; his larger body mass; or simply variation in individuals’ behaviors.

The abundance of ants and termites combined with a preference for larger tree hollows means that this area meets all his resources requirements. We know that he has used other den sites, but often returns to this area. If he favors this area it would be interesting to see what sort of impact this would have on the abundance of ants and termites. These insects are regarded as ecosystem engineers that effect the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from dead organic matter. We plan to track changes in termite abundance in this area, using count data and track any long term changes.

He was photographed at this den site on 4 nights (3 consecutive nights). It will be a good way of tracking when he returns to this patch to forage, if he continues to use this den site when here.

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About sundapangolin

I am a Conservation Biologist dedicated to increasing the understanding of and respect for the pangolin and their habitats and empowering people to take action to conserve them. I spent 18 months working as Field Adviser monitoring through radio tracking released and rehabilitated Sunda pangolin with the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program in Vietnam. Since then I have been working on pangolin conservation in Brunei and Sumatra.

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