Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

June 18-24, 2011

Distribution Models and Species Records

For most of the 24 species of Bornean carnivores, information on their status and distribution is limited and existing information is dispersed across many countries, institutions and individuals. But formal, accurate and precise knowledge of animal status and distribution is fundamental to the development of any effective conservation strategy. Therefore, we are collecting available occurrence records from natural history museums and especially from field scientists in preparation for the Borneo Carnivore Symposium. To date, several researchers and museums have already provided us with over a thousand carnivore occurrence records, and we are currently extracting further information from the literature. Because our findings and conclusions regarding conservation status and priorities will be based on the information we receive from you and other field observers, this is the most important component of the symposium. We encourage you to take the time to complete the following data sheet to assist our efforts. We are aware that not all of you will be able to attend the symposium, but by sharing your records you would provide a great contribution to the success of this event.

All records will be used to design species-specific predictive distribution models. Recently, some of us have designed a similar model for the flat-headed cat, one of the most threatened carnivores in Borneo. Following this study we received several new records, all of which were within or adjacent to areas predicted to contain suitable habitat for the flat-headed cat, providing support for the accuracy of these models. Models will also provide information on the realized ecological niche, especially on preferred habitat. This basic information is still lacking for most Bornean carnivores. Results from the flat-headed cat study demonstrate the potential of this technique for conservation and the results have already been used to update the IUCN Red List species account. However, these models are only representative and precise if a good number of records are available from an array of habitats and sites (in particular, records of any species from outside forests are vital). This is a challenging task especially for the rare Bornean carnivores. We are optimistic that with your assistance we will be able to design models to help us improve our understanding of Bornean carnivores and their conservation.

On behalf of the three IUCN/SSC Specialist group, the organizing committee and the Bornean carnivores, we thank you for taking the time to provide your invaluable data.

The Distribution Modelling Team

Use Contributed Data and Authorship

The provided data will be used exclusively to develop the distribution models for the symposium and to identify key localities for the conservation of Bornean carnivores. The model for each species will be published as respective issues of the IUCN/SSC Specialist Groups as one paper. We offer everyone who contributes species occurrence records co-authorship on these papers and each contributor will receive an electronic and hard copy of the Special Issues. In addition to these models, we envisage to publish the collected database as an online supplement to the papers, so they will be available for reviews, additions and reanalysis in the future. However, we are aware that some of you may desire to use your data for other scientific publications. In these cases, please indicate on the data sheet that you do not want your data to be included in this database. These data will be used only for model development and no one outside the organising committee will have access. If you have special requirements or questions please contact the organisers.

Datasheet Instructions

Click here to download the datasheet.

We tried to make the datasheet as easy as possible to minimize your time entering records. Data on rare species should have priority (see priority ranking in the species accounts). As some of you might have done extensive work in particular study sites and collected hundreds of records for some species from these sites, please include a maximum of 5 records chosen randomly per species from a single study site. Because we are dealing with 24 species we believe that otherwise you might be not able to complete the list. But of course if you have records from different sites we would be happy if you could send us the 5 records from all areas. If your data are already in your own database (in a different format) and you do not have time to extract your data and include them in our datasheet, you are welcome to send us your database and we will extract the needed information. Please only include in the datasheet confirmed records (e.g., camera-trapping photographs, direct sightings, roadkills, hunter’s remains, etc.). Please do not include indirect signs like tracks or scats, as these are prone to misidentification, especially in small carnivores. As some species might look similar, especially on unclear camera-trap photographs, we are more than willing to assist you with species identification. False records will bias the results of our analysis and therefore also the conservation implications.

We completed compiling the records which form the base of our distribution models, but you are still welcome to send us datasheets which we can incorporate in our database and use for further modelling after the symposium. Please email your datasheets to bcs2011@izw-berlin.de.