The influence of logging upon the foraging behaviour and diet of the endangered Bornean banteng.
Logging causes soil compaction and alters the vegetation structure and plant diversity, and ungulates must adapt to modified conditions if they are to survive. We investigated the impact of logging upon the foraging ecology of the Bornean banteng using camera traps and botanical surveys. General linear models were used to explore the effects of site characteristics and plant diversity upon foraging duration, and plant specimens were identified to confirm dietary preferences. Foraging events were recorded over 40,168 nights in five forests. Foraging duration significantly decreased in open areas depauperate in species richness (F=7.82, p=<0.01); however, it increased with elevation (F=3.46, p=0.05). Their diet comprised eight invasive species (Mikania cordata and Chromolaena odorata, Cyperus difformis, Fimbristylis littoralis and Scleria sp., Desmodium triflorum, Eleusine indica and Selaginella sp.), which are characteristic of disturbed forest and fast to establish. Logging creates ideal conditions for these plants, which are preferentially selected by bantengs. Whilst logging may increase forage, the disturbances logging causes to the bantengs and the ensuing poaching may counteract any positive benefits. Developing forest management strategies that incorporate conservation of the bantengs may in turn encourage more favourable conditions for emergent timber species and also conserve this endangered wild cattle species.