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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1541–1550 | Cite as

Bayesian occupancy monitoring for Annamite endemic biodiversity in central Vietnam

  • Thomas N. E. Gray
  • Hoa Anh Nguyen Quang
  • Thien Nguyen Van
Original Paper

Abstract

Given the crisis facing South-east Asian biodiversity evidence led conservation, including assessing the impact of innovative protected area management models, is urgently needed. Bayesian statistics provide an intuitive way to interpret biodiversity monitoring data but are largely unused, or poorly understood, by field biologists and protected area managers. We built Bayesian occupancy models for two threatened endemics of the Annamite mountains: northern yellow-cheeked gibbon Nomascus (gabriellae) annamensis and crested argus Rheinardia ocellata ocellata based on auditory surveys in three protected areas in central Vietnam. Occupancy of 2 × 2-km grid cells across the landscape was 0.76 ± SE 0.03 for northern yellow-cheeked gibbon and 0.68 ± SE 0.05 for crested argus. Models predicted higher probability of gibbon occurrence at lower elevations and higher probability of crested argus presence with increasing dense forest cover. Bayesian modeling is a useful tool for assessing the effectiveness of conservation interventions and for measuring progress against conservation goals. The wider application of Bayesian statistics in conservation monitoring should allow more intuitive and user-friendly representation of sampling uncertainty, including visual representation of probability distributions and more rigorous testing for changes in the status of conservation targets.

Keywords

Conservation evidence Galliforme Gibbon Indochina Occupancy Protected area management 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work forms part of the CarBi project of WWF Greater Mekong largely funded by KfW Bankengruppe and WWF Germany. For permission to work in the study landscape we thank the Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee and the management board of Hue and Quang Nam Saola Reserves and Bach Ma National Park. Mike Meredith provided statistical advice and an anonymous reviewer improved the quality of the manuscript. Michael Dine, David Zeller, Thinh Van Ngoc, Fanie Bekker, Anh Le Thuy and Hung Luong Viet provided logistical assistance and support.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas N. E. Gray
    • 1
    • 4
  • Hoa Anh Nguyen Quang
    • 2
  • Thien Nguyen Van
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.WWF Greater MekongVientianeLao PDR
  2. 2.WWF VietnamHue CityVietnam
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture and ForestryHue UniversityHue CityVietnam
  4. 4.Phnom PenhCambodia

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