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A survey of the non-flying small mammals at several elevations in and around Crocker Range Park

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Abstract

A survey was conducted on the non-flying small mammals (<1 kg) at three elevations (500 m, 1,000 m and 1,400 m a.s.l.) inside the Crocker Range Park (CRP) and one elevation (100 m above sea level) outside of the CRP. The purpose of the survey was to document several aspects of the small mammal community structure at these elevations. The variations in habitat structure and habitat-use patterns of the small mammals were described to explain the observed differences in the small mammal community structure across different elevations. Total trapping effort was 1,080 trap-nights with 106 individuals of small mammals comprising 14 species and five families were caught at all elevations combined. One murid rodent, Niviventer rapit, caught at 1,400 m a.s.l. is a new record for the CRP.
... One hundred wire mesh cage traps (28 cm×15 cm×12.5 cm) were deployed in each study site along the river. A variety of baits, such as banana, oil palm fruit and jackfruit, were used (Bernard et al. 2004). The cage traps were randomly placed on tree stumps, fallen logs (Balete et al. 2009), and ground-level (Rickart et al. 2011). ...
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Ticks are ill-famed vectors of many pathogenic organisms which can cause various diseases and life-threatening illnesses to animals and humans. Each tick's species and its life stages have distinct morphological features that can permit them to be accurately identified. However, the use of conventional stereo microscopes limits the accuracy of species identification. The taxonomy of ticks, in general, is not much understood and existing information is based on sparse morphology data. Thus, this study aims to examine and describe the morphological characteristics of different species of ticks collected on rodents in mangrove forests using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This method renders high-quality images of body parts of ticks. Five different morphospecies of ticks from one host species (Rattus tiomanicus) were examined under SEM, followed by the PCR technique using mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene for species validation. This study revealed that the ticks belong to five species: Dermacentor auratus, Ixodes granulatus, Haemaphysalis hystricis, D. atrosignatus and Amblyomma cordiferum. The combination of stereomicroscopic and SEM methods has improved our understanding of the morphological characteristics of different tick species, hence establishing up-to-date taxonomic keys for these species. Moreover, due to the lack of taxonomic keys on the immature stage of ticks, the SEM method is essential in characterising the morphological features of these stages in detail, subsequently helpful in revising the taxonomic keys for certain ticks species.
... A total of 125 wired mesh cage traps (28 cm × 15 cm × 12.5 cm) were deployed randomly at five research stations in each mangrove forest (25 cages/station). These cages were baited with different types of aromatic baits, including banana, oil palm fruit, and jackfruit (Bernard et al. 2004) in equal amounts, and were placed on tree stumps, fallen logs, and at ground level (Balete et al. 2009;Rickart et al. 2011). All traps were checked twice a day at 0900 hours and 1700 hours. ...
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The mangrove forest is located in the coastal intertidal zone and plays a vital role in buffering against erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides. This ecosystem also serves for ecotourism due to its heterogeneous habitats, which supported a high diversity of plants and animals. Small mammals are among the abundant but poorly recognised inhabitants in mangrove forests. Apart from their role as primary consumer and prey, they are host to various ectoparasites, which potentially become the primary vector for tick-borne diseases among visitors. Therefore, this study aims to determine the small mammal assemblages and their ectoparasite prevalence in mangroves forests of Peninsular Malaysia. The capture-release method was applied for small mammal sampling, and each captured individual was screened and collected for ectoparasites before released. DNA barcoding using CO1 genes was performed for small mammal species verification, whereby ectoparasite identification was based on morphological identification and molecular verification using 16S rDNA genes. A total of 94 small mammals from 6 species were captured across sites, dominated by Rattus tiomanicus (n=74). From this number, 15 individuals (16% prevalence) were infested by ticks, 22 individuals (23%) were infested by mites, whereas 4 individuals (4%) were infested by both ticks and mites. Five species of ticks and one mite species were identified; Amblyomma cordiferum, Ixodes granulatus, Haemaphysalis hystricis, Dermacentor auratus, Dermacentor atrosignatus, and Laelaps echidninus. This study reveals a relatively poor diversity of small mammals in the mangroves forest, of which highly infested with a diversity of ectoparasites, elucidating the relationship of hostectoparasite associations in the riparian zone. This information is crucial to inform visitors to these areas, ultimately safeguard against ectoparasite-borne disease.
... A total of one hundred wired mesh cage traps (28 cm × 15 cm × 12.5 cm) were deployed in each study site. Banana, oil palm fruit and jackfruit were used as bait to lure the small mammals (Bernard et al., 2004). Five stations were established along the river, which stretched as far as one kilometre from the jetty, and cage traps were deployed systematically at each station. ...
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Bacteria of the genus Bartonella have been known as emerging zoonotic pathogens Numerous species of small mammals have been reported to play a role as a suitable reservoir to many pathogenic Bartonella. These infections are thought to be transmitted through blood-feeding arthropod vectors such as ticks, fleas and lice. The purpose of this study is to detect the presence of Bartonella species from tick samples collected from small mammals in mangrove forests of Peninsular Malaysia. Herein, 38 individual ticks and their small mammals host were evaluated for the presence of Bartonella DNA by conventional PCR targeting the 16S rRNA intergenic spacer region (ITS) and partial sequencing of 460 bp from this locususing Bartonella genus-specific primers. Two tick individuals from Dermacentor auratus and Haemaphysalis hystricis collected from Rattus tiomanicus (host), were PCR-positive for Bartonella DNA amplification. No Bartonella amplification was possible in other tick species (Amblyomma sp.). Phylogenetic analysis of ITS fragments demonstrated that the sequences from ticks were closely related to Bartonella phoceensis, a species that has been reported from black rats (Rattus rattus) in Australia. This is the first report of a Bartonella bacteria detected in ticks from small mammals in Malaysia. Further research should be warranted to investigate the transmission of Bartonella and the potential impact of this zoonotic pathogen in animals and humans as this mangrove ecosystem is significant for local economy
... A total of three hundred wired mesh cage traps sized (28 cm × 15 cm × 12.5 cm) and forty wired mesh cage traps sized (60 cm × 40 cm × 40 cm) were deployed in each study sites. Banana, oil palm fruit and jackfruit were used as bait in the study (Bernard et al. 2004). At each study sites, there were six different trails where fifty wired mesh cage traps sized (28 cm × 15 cm × 12.5 cm) and five wired mesh cage traps sized (60 cm × 40 cm × 40 cm) were deployed at 5 m interval. ...
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Ectoparasites of small mammals and medium mammals are divided into two main classes which are Insecta and Arachnida. The members of the class Arachnida including order Ixodida (ticks) and Mesostigmata (mites) meanwhile class Insecta comprising Phthiraptera (lice) and Siphonaptera (fleas). This study was conducted to determine tick's and mite's prevalence on the small to medium-sized mammals in Kemasul Forest Reserve, Pahang. This forest has undergone rapid deforestation for agricultural purposes. Two study sites were chosen which represented by a forest remnant surrounded with different matrix of monoculture plantation; Jambu Rias (JR) (Elaeis guineensis) and Chemomoi (CM) (Acacia mangium). Three hundred wired mesh cage traps sized (28 cm × 15 cm × 12.5 cm) and forty wired mesh cage traps sized (60 cm × 40 cm × 40 cm) were deployed at the study area and ectoparasites were extracted from each host using a fine comb. Identification was based on morphology and molecular using cytochrome oxidase 1 for confirmation. Mites only represented by Laelaps sp. which shows 95% and 70% prevalence in JR and CM respectively. Ticks were represented by five species, namely Ixodes granulatus, Dermacentor atrosignatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Amblyomma testudinarium and Haemaphysalis sp. JR comprise of five species while CM with two species. I. granulatus was the most common infesting the small mammals in both sites. The highest parasite load was found on small mammals which were Maxomys surifer, M. rajah and M. whiteheadi in both study sites, particularly with mites. The study indicates that habitat condition significantly affects parasite prevalence in small to medium-sized mammal population, which could be due to the resilience of an individual to persist in disturbed habitat.
... Gunung Alab, rising to 1,932 m asl, is one of several peaks in Crocker Range Park exceeding 1,500 m asl (Bernard 2004). Around the Gunung Alab substation (5°49'17.5"N, ...
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