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Ecological Research

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 701–710 | Cite as

Habitat preferences of medium/large mammals in human disturbed forests in Central Japan

  • Riyou Tsujino
  • Takakazu Yumoto
Original Article
  • 450 Downloads

Abstract

It is a great concern whether human disturbed forest, i.e., secondary forest or monoculture forest, can be a habitat for the wildlife. We examined habitat preference of medium/large terrestrial mammal species in a human-disturbed mountainous settlement area of Akiyama Region, Central Japan, by using camera-traps, which were placed at conifer plantation forest, high/low-disturbed deciduous broad-leaved forest, and broad-leaved/conifer mixed forest in 2008 and 2009. Camera-traps were operational for 4568.6 trap-nights producing 740 photo-captures of 13 medium/large terrestrial mammal species. Japanese serow and Japanese hare dominated 54 % of all photo-captures. Low-disturbed deciduous broad-leaved forest showed the richest mammal fauna (12 spp.). We suggested that fruit trees and understory vegetation provided suitable habitat for frugivorous as well as herbivorous mammals. The mixed forest showed the lowest mammal fauna (6 spp.), which located higher elevation. High-disturbed deciduous broad-leaved forest (9 spp.) was also supposed to be a better habitat for some frugivorous mammals and herbivorous mammals, but tended to be avoided by Japanese marten and Japanese macaque. Conifer plantation forest (7 spp.) with understory vegetation was supposed to be a better habitat for Japanese serow and Japanese hare, but not for the other species. Without fruit trees, conifer plantation forest was supposed to be non-attractive habitat for frugivorous mammals. We demonstrated that, if a forest had been disturbed by human, the forest can be a habitat for terrestrial herbivores, but this was not always true for frugivores.

Keywords

Camera traps Human disturbance Mammalian fauna Conifer plantation Occupancy model 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We were permitted to conduct a series of field researches by Koakazawa settlement, Uenohara settlement, Sakaemura Village Office and Department of Hoku-Shin Forestry Office. Members of Hist-Chubu working group of research project D-02 of Research Institute for Humanity and Nature offered me helpful suggestions and comments. We were financially assisted by research project D-02 and the Environmental Research and Technology Development Fund (S9) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.

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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Center for Natural Environment Education Nara University of EducationNaraJapan
  3. 3.Primate Research Institute Kyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

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