|Town/Region||Crocker Range Park, Sabah|
|Date||19 Jul 2005|
The nature of hunting will be assessed through participatory work with the community. A range of techniques will be employed to gather indigenous ethnobiological knowledge, including semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and free listing. These methods will be used to gather data on demography, demarcation of hunting catchment areas and territories, hunting methods, location of trails, passing on of hunting knowledge between generations and hunting taboos. Hunting registers will also be used to gather data on the number and biomass of hunting offtake, species hunted, number of active hunters and the frequency of hunting trips.
The biological impacts of hunting on game species will then be investigated through field surveys in the park. These will focus on the most commonly hunted species (medium sized terrestrial mammals such as deer and wild boar), and examine their population statuses through long-term transect surveys; recording both physical sightings and signs/tracks. Similar surveys will be conducted in unhunted areas, in order to compare hunted populations with those at or close to their carrying capacities.
Potential ecological consequences of hunting will also be investigated.
Many game species are important seed dispersers and seed predators, and their extirpation can have important long-term repercussions on tree regeneration and forest structure. This will be examined by exploring the feeding ecology of hunted species, and the seedling recruitment of their preferred prey species in the hunted and non-hunted sites.
This research is to run in collaboration with a project being conducted by the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), a UK-based NGO, which is investigating ethnobotanical resource use and shifting agriculture in the same community. The findings of my research will be disseminated among the GDF, the state parks management authority (Sabah Parks), the Biodiversity Institute at the state university (University Malaysia Sabah), and the community of Buayan. It may also serve more broadly as a useful addition to the literature; as rigourous research on this subject is extremely limited in the South-East Asian region.
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