Seasonal and daily use of natural licks by sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) in a Bornean tropical rain forest
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Seasonal and daily use of natural licks by sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) was examined with camera traps in the Deramakot Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The visitation frequency by females was significantly higher in the wet season (October to March) than in the dry season (April to September) (0.277/day and 0.120/day, respectively), while that by males was not significantly different between seasons (0.190/day and 0.138/day, respectively). Our results imply that the increased female visitation frequency in the wet season reflects the peak of their physical demands (e.g., lactation). The visitation frequency in the dark period (1800 h - 0600 h) was significantly higher than that in the light period (0600 h - 1800 h) (85% and 15%, respectively). Sambar deer are generally assumed to forage at night, and the utilisation of natural licks corresponded to their foraging habits. This study suggests that, for sambar deer, natural licks are among the most important habitats not only for daily sustenance but also for reproductive support.
Tropics 17(1), 81-86, 2007-11-30
JAPAN SOCIETY OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY