Title page for ETD etd-12092010-150552

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gerber, Brian Daniel
URN etd-12092010-150552
Title Comparing density analyses and carnivore ecology in Madagascar's southeastern rainforest
Degree Master of Natural Resources
Department Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Karpanty, Sarah M. Committee Chair
Kelly, Marcella J. Committee Member
Stauffer, Dean F. Committee Member
  • habitat
  • carnivore
  • Madagascar
  • density
Date of Defense 2010-12-07
Availability unrestricted
Madagascar is renowned for its biodiversity, but also for forest loss, fragmentation, and degradation, making it a global conservation priority. With few studies dedicated to Madagascar’s carnivores, little is known about their ecology. My objectives were to 1) compare density estimation techniques applicable to enumerating rare and/or elusive carnivores, 2) investigate Malagasy carnivore distributions, abundance and density, and occupancy/use across four sites that vary in forest disturbance, and 3) explore temporal activity patterns of rainforest carnivores. I found the spatially-explicit-capture-recapture models were empirically superior, as they are flexible and account for spatial variation in detection probability and area estimation. I found both endemic and exotic carnivore composition varied among four rainforest sites: Primary, Selectively-logged, Fragments <2.5 km and Fragments >15 km from contiguous-primary rainforest. All endemic carnivores were present in the Primary and Selectively-logged rainforest, while endemic carnivore species richness decreased and exotic carnivore species richness increased in the fragmented forests. Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana) density ± SE was significantly less in the Selectively-logged compared to the Primary rainforest (1.38 ± 0.22, 3.19 ± 0.55 civets/km2, respectively); they were absent from both fragmented forests. Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) density ± SE was not different between the Primary and Selectively-logged rainforests (0.12 ± 0.05, 0.09 ± 0.04 adults/km2, respectively); a single animal was detected in the Fragments <2.5 km, while none were detected in the Fragments >15 km. Malagasy carnivores had varied temporal activity overlap (5.8-88.8%). C. ferox preferred crepuscular activity, but overall exhibited a cathemeral activity pattern.
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