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Distribution and abundance of vertebrate animal road-kills in Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia

A. NORSHAQINAH, A. M. MUZNEENA, S. JULIANA, A. NORHAYATI

Abstract


Roads exert negative impacts on worldwide animal populations through
animal-vehicle collisions. On Pulau Langkawi, which is a UNESCO Global Geopark, incidence of road-kills may offend tourists and even pose risks to tourist drivers, especially when Langkawi is highly regarded as nature tourist hotspot. Since there has never been any previous work done on road-kills in Langkawi, this study was conducted to evaluate road-kill events and sites, in order to identify contributing factors. The study was done from
January 2017 to January 2018. Five routes were chosen of different lengths, adjacent vegetation, and land use. Surveys were conducted by car with a constant speed of 50 km-h. Overall, the surveys recorded a total of 304 road-kills, representing 30 vertebrate animal species. Reptilia was the most frequently recorded class, whereas Varanus nebulosus had the highest abundance with a total of 72 individuals. The highest number of road-kills with 118 mortalities were recorded along route 1 (R1), which covers Jalan Pantai Kok and Teluk
Yu for a total of 15 km. Route 2 (R2) of Jalan Datai, which is about 24 km long, recorded the lowest frequency of road-kills (n=41). Among the road-kill species is a Slow Loris, Nycticebus coucang, which is a vulnerable species. The average value of Shannon index was H’=2.04, indicating a moderate species diversity. The Pielou’s evenness value (J’) was 0.80, showing a uniform distribution of all taxa among the five transects. This study may facilitate road management authorities and development authorities on road-kill mitigation
for a better experience for tourists.


Keywords


mammals, diversity, geopark, island, mitigation

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