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Short-term movements and strong dependence on figs of binturongs (Arctictis binturong) in Bornean rainforests

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We evaluated short-term movements of three radio-collared binturongs in relation to food distribution in Bornean rainforests, in addition to the basic ecological information on their home-range size and diet. Mean 95% fixed kernel and 95% MCP home-range size were 4.24 ± 0.79 km2 and 1.54 ± 0.89 km2, respectively (mean ± SD). We recorded 13 fig Ficus species and four non-fig species as their foods. Fig trees accounted for 87.5% of the feeding sites of the three collared binturongs, and 87.9% including uncollared individuals. Our results suggested that binturongs’ short-term movements were strongly affected by food distribution, especially figs. They feed on various fig species and may remember the location and fruiting periods of fig trees. They may use the biggest fig species, F. punctata, as a fallback food when other foods are scarce. Although this is the first systematic study to describe movement and feeding habits of binturongs, further studies are needed to understand their ecology so that proper measures can be designed for their conservation.

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We thank the Sabah Biodiversity Centre, Danum Valley Management Committee, and Maliau Basin Management Committee for their permission to conduct this research. We are grateful to field assistants, Azz, Kenneth, Albert, Farizal and Taufiq for their assistance in the field, and Q. Phillipps, Postar, Jemson, Jeisin and Joel for their assistance in the identification of plant species.


This research was supported by JSPS Core-to-Core Program, A. Advanced Research Networks, Grants-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow to MN (no.25597, no. 201608680), the Shikata Memorial Trust for Nature Conservation and the Inui Tasuke Scientific Foundation.

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Correspondence to Miyabi Nakabayashi.

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Nakabayashi, M., Ahmad, A.H. Short-term movements and strong dependence on figs of binturongs (Arctictis binturong) in Bornean rainforests. Eur J Wildl Res 64, 66 (2018).

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