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Climate-mediated activity of the Javan Slow Loris, Nycticebus javanicus

1 Little Fireface Project; Cisurupan, Garut, Java, Indonesia
2 Research Centre for Biology-LIPI, Jakarta-Bogor, Cibinong, Indonesia
3 Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Joint impacts of anthropogenic disturbance and climate change are of pressing concern for modern conservationists. Climate change patterns have various diminishing effects on the biodiversity of an ecosystem, requiring an understanding of a species’ ability to adapt. Agricultural practices are expanding at an altitudinal gradient on the Indonesian island of Java, forcing endemic species to range at increased elevation with lower temperatures, and in human-populated areas. One example is the Critically Endangered Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus), which finds itself increasingly restricted to montane regions with extreme climate patterns and habitat disturbance. We observed wild N. javanicus in a highly fragmented, montane agroforest area to determine if climate variables and forest connectivity influence activity budget and behavior. Lorises ranged at different altitudes (1275 m above sea level (asl)—1570 m asl) and were observed for six months in Cipaganti, West Java. Using multinomial regression analyses, we found loris individuals were most likely to engage in increased foraging, feeding and travelling behavior than resting when relative humidity increases and in habitats with greater forest connectivity. Regression analyses found effects of relative humidity and forest connectivity to be the most significant predictors of N. javanicus foraging behavior (P = 0.001, P = 0.030). We suggest that future-climate shifts and increased anthropogenic disturbance will detrimentally influence wild populations of N. javanicus, requiring immediate plans for mitigation in conserving these already scarce wild populations. We also suggest the altering of reintroduction protocols in relation to climate and geographic region.
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Keywords Activity budget; climate influence; humidity; behavioral adaptation; agroforest, montane

Citation: Kathleen D Reinhardt, Wirdateti, K.AI. Nekaris. Climate-mediated activity of the Javan Slow Loris, Nycticebus javanicus. AIMS Environmental Science, 2016, 3(2): 249-260. doi: 10.3934/environsci.2016.2.249


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