Small mammal monitoring on a biodiversity-enriched oil palm plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia

My Master project aims to assess the small mammal biodiversity inside the EFForTS-BEE experiment. The effect of the tree islands on the biodiversity of the plantation has been stated for different groups of animals, such as insects or birds, but the mammal’s biodiversity still needs to be assessed. To do so I will use camera traps that will be set in the different tree islands. The cameras will be installed inside baited tunnels, and equipped with a lens to take close-up pictures, following the method of Littlewood et al., 2021. It will allow me to see if the size or number of tree species present influences small mammals' diversity and compare the data obtained with those from a conventional plantation and the tropical forest. I hypothesize that the tree islands positively impact the biodiversity of small mammals inside the plantation. I, therefore, expect to find more biodiversity in the experiment than in the classical plantation, but less than in the rainforest.

Valentin Michel is affiliated at the Conservation Biology Lab at the university of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and is supervised by Prof. Dr. Clara Zemp.

  • Littlewood NA, Hancock MH, Newey S, Shackelford G, Toney R (2021) Use of a novel camera trapping approach to measure small mammal responses to peatland restoration. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 67: 12