Manual Ecology of Sumatra

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Annual rainfall is about mm 9.

The ecology of Sumatra /Tony Whitten [et al.]. – National Library

Average annual temperature is Peat swamps support medium-densities of orangutans and they are found in the lowest densities in dipterocarp forests Husson pers. They have been recorded eating buds, open flowers, young leaves, bark, sap, vines, orchids, reed roots, bird eggs, spider webs, termites, caterpillars, ants, fungi, honey, and other various plant parts Rijksen ; Galdikas Extreme variability in the abundance of fruit from season to season and year to year is typical of dipterocarp rainforests.

Mast fruiting occurs every two to 10 years and is a phenomenon in which large numbers of trees fruit simultaneously despite no seasonal change in temperature or rainfall Knott During this time, orangutans engorge themselves with fruit, greatly exceeding their daily caloric intake requirements and putting on additional fat stores.


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In periods of high fruit abundance, males consume more calories and spend more time feeding per day than females. This propensity to overeat during times of food abundance and efficiency of storing fat reserves may be why captive orangutans often struggle with obesity Knott When mast fruiting does not occur during a year, there is still an annual fruit peak. Fruit is widely available during the beginning and end of the rainy season December and May and is scarce by the end of the dry season August Galdikas ; Knott Fruit is always preferentially eaten, but when fruits are in short supply, orangutans forage opportunistically and depend more heavily on other plant foods such as bark, pith, leaves, flowers, and insects Knott Sumatran orangutans heavily prefer figs over any fruits, especially Ficus species, though figs are largely unavailable to lowland ranging Bornean orangutans Rijksen ; Galdikas Their daily activity patterns show two peaks, one in the morning and another in late afternoon.

After leaving their night nest, orangutans spend two to three hours vigorously feeding in the morning, then rest during the midday hours, travel during the late afternoon, and, in the early evening, prepare their night nests Rijksen ; Galdikas Day ranges vary between 90 and m. Day range length is directly proportional to home range size; orangutans with larger home ranges have larger day ranges and those with smaller ones have smaller day ranges Rodman In the peat and lowland swamp forests of Borneo, where faunal diversity is great, home ranges for females are between 3.

On Sumatra, where orangutans inhabit higher elevations and swamp forests with less diversity, average female home ranges tend to be larger, closer to 8.

Guide Ecology of Sumatra

Sumatran orangutans are subject to predation by tigers, clouded leopards, hunting dogs, and crocodiles, but tigers constitute the major predatory threat. Clouded leopards are capable of killing Sumatran orangutan adolescents and small adult females, but have not been known to kill adult males Rijksen The presence of predators is probably the reason that Sumatran orangutans are rarely seen venturing onto the ground. Bornean orangutans, on the other hand, are not subject to predation by large felids , and are seen more frequently on the ground than the Sumatran species Rijksen ; Galdikas Written by Kristina Cawthon Lang.

Reviewed by Simon Husson.

The ecology of Sumatra / Tony Whitten ... [et al.].

Cite this page as: Cawthon Lang KA. Accessed October 6.


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We are not responsible for the content of linked sites, nor does inclusion of a link imply endorsement of the views expressed in that content. There was no relation between average monthly elephant home range sizes and rainfall, nor any correlation between monthly elephant movement distances and rainfall.

Vegetation productivity, as measured by the Enhanced Vegetation Index EVI , was probably the factor most affecting elephant movements compared to the distances to rivers and ex-logging roads on the SECC. Resource selection analyzes indicate that elephants in Seblat seem to select medium canopy and open canopy areas more than expected.

Similarly, habitat ranking using compositional analysis shows that in 2 nd order and 3 rd order selection, medium canopy and open canopy were the two habitat types with a greater level of used.

Habitat use based on diurnal and nocturnal elephant activities indicates that elephants preferred closed canopy habitat compare to the open canopy habitat during the day. The results of this study suggest wide conservation implications for elephants on Sumatra, helping to guide effective land use conservation programs and provide scientific guideline to restore disturbed habitat and select priority areas for Sumatran elephants.

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Open Access Dissertations. Advanced Search. This page is sponsored by the University Libraries. Privacy Copyright. Abstract Sumatran elephant Elephas maximus sumatranus populations continue to decline due to habitat loss, poaching and conflict with humans.

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