The diversity of small mammals in Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Terengganu, Malaysia

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Aminuddin Baqi
Isham Azhar
Ean Wee Chen
Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan
Chong Ju Lian
Bryan Raveen Nelson
Jayaraj Vijaya Kumaran


Islands are generally rich in marine biodiversity, but it also often hides unique and endemic terrestrial wildlife.  The data of terrestrial wildlife in Malaysian islands are still severely lacking, notably from small islands.  Hence, this study was conducted to survey and update the small mammal diversity (bats and non-volant small mammals) in Pulau Perhentian Kecil, a tourist destination famous for its magnificent, diverse marine life and white sandy beaches.  Despite their touristic popularity, very few information is known about the faunal diversity in this island compare to their more massive neighbouring island, Pulau Perhentian Besar.  The survey was carried out from 21 to 30 May 2014 recorded 56 individuals encompasses eight species of bats and five species of non-volant small mammals that were captured using mist nets, harp traps, and cage traps.  The survey recorded 10 new species locality records for the island in which, five species were never recorded in Pulau Perhentian Besar.  Hipposideros dyacorum, Tylonycteris fulvida, T. malayana, Rattus exulans, and Sundamys annandalei are also new distribution records for the Malaysian East Coast islands highlighting the importance of protecting island biodiversity.  Nonetheless, it is hoped that this study not only highlights the species diversity on the island but also serve as a data for sustainable island tourism management planning, which will be crucial for the sustainable development and management of this ecologically sensitive area.

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