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Observation of Sumatran striped rabbit ( Nesolagus netscheri ) in the wild

Observation of Sumatran striped rabbit ( Nesolagus netscheri ) in the wild *Corresponding author Keywords: Bukit Barisan National Park; Leporidae; Nesolagus netscheri; observation; spotlighting; Sumatran striped rabbit. The Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri Schlegel, 1880), one of the least-known mammals in the world, occurs only in the montane forests of Sumatra. It is known from a handful of old specimens, a few photos made by automatic cameras, one or two sightings by naturalists in the 1970s, and rare reports by local villagers (Flux 1990, Meijaard and Sugardjito 2008). On 25 June 2009, at 01:30 h, one animal was seen from the Bandar Lampung­Bengkulu road, approximately 15 km northeast of Krui, within Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Lampung Province, Sumatra (58069 S, 1038589 E). It was first located by its orange eyeshine, then seen very well by more than one experienced observer and identified beyond any doubt. The rabbit was sitting just outside the edge of a pavement, in a low posture, with its back and ears being held almost horizontally. It was less than 40 cm long, and its gray coloration highlighted with the black stripes characteristic of the species was clearly observed. It did not move until the car with the observers passed by it. Unfortunately, the encounter was too brief and sudden to permit any attempt to photograph the animal. It has been suggested (Nowak 1999) that this species might be more common than currently believed, but a scarcity of records and a lack of knowledge of the species among local hunters often have been interpreted as signs of extreme rarity (Flux 1990). However, it has been reported at least once from every large national park on Sumatra which has montane forests (Meijaard and Sugardjito 2008). Our sighting shows that spotlighting along montane forest roads might complement information on its status and distribution provided by camera trapping. Of course, a single sighting could be a lucky accident. But it was made during routine travel, not an intentional spotlighting survey. The total time of night driving along the park roads late at night (after heavy traffic subsides around midnight) was less than 2 h. We are not aware of any mammalian survey on Sumatra using car-based spotlighting in montane forest habitat. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammals de Gruyter

Observation of Sumatran striped rabbit ( Nesolagus netscheri ) in the wild

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York
Subject
Letter to the Editor
ISSN
0025-1461
eISSN
1864-1547
DOI
10.1515/MAMM.2009.074
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

*Corresponding author Keywords: Bukit Barisan National Park; Leporidae; Nesolagus netscheri; observation; spotlighting; Sumatran striped rabbit. The Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri Schlegel, 1880), one of the least-known mammals in the world, occurs only in the montane forests of Sumatra. It is known from a handful of old specimens, a few photos made by automatic cameras, one or two sightings by naturalists in the 1970s, and rare reports by local villagers (Flux 1990, Meijaard and Sugardjito 2008). On 25 June 2009, at 01:30 h, one animal was seen from the Bandar Lampung­Bengkulu road, approximately 15 km northeast of Krui, within Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Lampung Province, Sumatra (58069 S, 1038589 E). It was first located by its orange eyeshine, then seen very well by more than one experienced observer and identified beyond any doubt. The rabbit was sitting just outside the edge of a pavement, in a low posture, with its back and ears being held almost horizontally. It was less than 40 cm long, and its gray coloration highlighted with the black stripes characteristic of the species was clearly observed. It did not move until the car with the observers passed by it. Unfortunately, the encounter was too brief and sudden to permit any attempt to photograph the animal. It has been suggested (Nowak 1999) that this species might be more common than currently believed, but a scarcity of records and a lack of knowledge of the species among local hunters often have been interpreted as signs of extreme rarity (Flux 1990). However, it has been reported at least once from every large national park on Sumatra which has montane forests (Meijaard and Sugardjito 2008). Our sighting shows that spotlighting along montane forest roads might complement information on its status and distribution provided by camera trapping. Of course, a single sighting could be a lucky accident. But it was made during routine travel, not an intentional spotlighting survey. The total time of night driving along the park roads late at night (after heavy traffic subsides around midnight) was less than 2 h. We are not aware of any mammalian survey on Sumatra using car-based spotlighting in montane forest habitat.

Journal

Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammalsde Gruyter

Published: Mar 1, 2010

Keywords: Bukit Barisan National Park; Leporidae; Nesolagus netscheri ; observation; spotlighting; Sumatran striped rabbit

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