The future of mammals in Southeast Asia: Conservation insights from the fossil record

Julien Louys*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Pleistocene zoogeographic history of Southeast Asian megafauna are examined in order to determine if any patterns of extinction vulnerability can be discerned, and if so determine which extant megafauna species may be in need of heightened conservation effort. Sites in Southeast Asia were examined for three time periods: Early, Middle and Late Pleistocene, and compared with modern distribution patterns. Taxa were divided into one of four conservation statuses: extinct, critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable. One pattern clearly observable for the species in the extinct and critically endangered categories was a widespread distribution throughout the Pleistocene, only to suffer extreme range reductions or extinctions between the Late Pleistocene and today. At least three species in the endangered category display similar distribution patterns: the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), the tiger (Panthera tigris) and the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). Although the panda, and to a more limited extent the tiger are well recognised as conservation priorities, this is less true for the tapir. If the zoogeographic patterns observed for extinct or critically endangered species are any guide, the outlook for the panda, tiger, and tapir, independent of stepped-up conservation efforts, are bleak.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPaleontology in Ecology and Conservation
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783642250385
ISBN (Print)9783642250378
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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