Pasoh Forest Reserve (07.01.2013 to 09.30.2013)

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Year: 
2013
Quarter: 
July - September
Communications activities: 

TEAM project activities were shared in a presentation to about 37 local under graduate students from International Islamic Science University during the Pasoh Open Day 2013 held on 27-29 September 2013.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

Documented the first record/sighting of a Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) by one of the camera traps in Pasoh Forest Reserve.

New Species: 

Documented the first record/sighting of a Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) by one of the camera traps in Pasoh Forest Reserve.

Protocol Activities: 

The Terrestrial Vertebrate protocol was completed in array 3, and is still ongoing for array 1.

Climate monitoring was continued as planned.

Protocol Problems: 

Terrestrial Vertebrates

Due to miscommunication with the new TV field team leader, Array 3 was sampled twice for 30 days each, resulting in a total of 60 days. The upside of the extended sampling time in Array 3 and also new locations in the reserve are the additional species of vertebrates documented.

The current TEAM digital interface, however, only allows uploads of camera photos taken for 1 deployment per point per season. The TEAM technical team (James McCarthy) has made it possible to nevertheless add the extra data to the database.

As many as 8 camera traps were stolen and one was malfunctioining. We are taking extra precautions to reduce theft and moisture problems.

The Tenergy rechargeable batteries are underperforming: they often run out of power during the 30 days of deployment. We have changed to using non-rechargable batteries, which last for 30 days.

Climate

The climate station continues to face power issues. A 100-Amph battery and solar panel does not provide the amount of energy consumed by the radiation shield fan. This is probably due to the high cloud cover in the area. A second battery and solar panel were purchased, and sent to the Pasoh station in September. The TEAm technical director instructed us to not yet install these, awaiting further instructions and adjustment of the protocol.

Schedule Problems: 

The double-sampling of array 3 led to a 2-month delay in sampling Array 1. Because we also do not have enough cameras left, camera trapping will spill over into the wet season in November and December 2013. TEAM technical director has been informed.

Suggestions: 

This year alone, eight cameras were stolen while 12 were sent for repairs to Reconyx in the USA. We would like to suggest that the protocol is extended to reduce theft and moisture problems.

To reduce thefts of cameras, it is suggested that the cameras should be fitted with warning labels indicating that they are meant for research and has no value or use in the market. We also need better cables. Python cable locks can easily be severed with a machete, even the thickest version.

Humidity seems to be the culprit of the recent camera malfunction. Additional suggestion to keep the cameras dry include:
1. swab vaseline along the rubber seal
2. attach a tin roof over the camera to protect against rain and run-off along the tree stem
3. having the cameras pass through a dry closet before and after deployment.
4. run the cameras with 6 good non-rechargeable batteries instead of 12 and fill the other half of the chamber with desiccant.