Protected areas ought to be managed to sustain populations of the species they are intended to protect. For most species in Malaysia, that will likely be retaining and in some cases restoring closed- canopy forest. But other habitat modification targeted to favour the most endangered species may be beneficial.
Challenges: There are few practical ways to modify rainforests on any meaningful scale that might help to boost carrying capacity or breeding success of target large mammal species.
Examples: Wild cattle - both Malayan seladang and Bornean banteng, Asian elephants and sambar deer seek grasses as major components of their diet. In Peninsular Malaysia, sambar deer are an important food species for Malayan tiger. For the Malayan tapir regenerating logged forest is probably an ideal habitat. Sustainably managed production forests may be a superior habitat than closed canopy forest, as long as forest blocks are large enough to sustain a viable population.
Possible treatment: develop and maintain mixed grass and forb species as pastures on damaged sites in protected areas (e.g. on former logging roads, log stumping points, burned areas). BORA is working with Responsible Elephant Conservation Trust (RESPECT) to create an example elephant pasture near Telupid, Sabah.