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Zhuge H.-J.,Beijing Normal University | Li X.-W.,Beijing Normal University | Zhang X.,Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture Aerjin Mountain National Nature Reserve Management Headquarters | Gao F.,Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture Aerjin Mountain National Nature Reserve Management Headquarters | Xu D.-H.,Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture Aerjin Mountain National Nature Reserve Management Headquarters
Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2014

As a flagship and one of most endangered ungulates in the alpine desert of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the habitat conservation of Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) is vital to sustain its long-term population existence. In consideration of key habitat factors of the Tibetan antelope (i.e., food, topography and water source) as well as human interference factors like roads and settlements, the habitat suitability was modeled, and potential and valid suitable habitats were identified for Tibetan antelope in the alpine desert, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Furthermore, the conservation proportion index and conservation efficacy index were developed to facilitate the conservation assess-ment of three national reserves (i.e., Altun Mountain, Kekexili and Qiangtang) and their associat-ed functional zones in the study area. The results showed that potential and valid area of suitable habitat across overall study area were 2.84×105 and 2.08×105 km2 respectively, with 16.1% of suitable habitat loss by human disturbance. At reserve level, the potential suitable habitats of Altun Mountain, Kekexili and Qiangtang were 2.01×104, 3.13×104 and 1.26×105 km2, which however decreased by 12.9%, 10.2% and 21.1% human disturbance respectively, indicating a prominent habitat fragmentation especially in Qiangtang National Nature Reserve ( NNR). Although three NNRs had captured nearly 2/3 of the potential/valid suitable habitats with favorable conservation efficacy, there were still obvious conservation gaps outside the existing reserve network. At the functional zone level, buffer and experimental zones also showed significant conservation proportion and efficacy besides the core zone. Our research highlighted the necessity to optimize the existing re-serve system by filling the conservation gaps, restructuring the functional zones and safeguarding the potential refuge habitats for those endangered ungulates in face of climate change. ©, 2014, Editorial Board of Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology. All right reserved. Source


Su X.-K.,Beijing Normal University | Dong S.-K.,Beijing Normal University | Liu S.-L.,Beijing Normal University | Shi J.-B.,Beijing Normal University | And 4 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2014

Aerjin (Altun) Mountain National Nature Reserve is one of three refuges for rare and endangered ungulates such as Tibetan antelope in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. As a kind of migration ungulate, Tibetan antelope' s population could be effectively protected through identifying its habitat suitability in cold (January) and warm (July) seasons. On the basis of niche theory, we used GIS and AHP jointly to build a GIS-based niche model for delimiting and classifying habitat suitability in cold and warm seasons. Results showed that total areas of high suitability and moderate suitability habitats in cold and warm seasons were 12620 and 15630 km2, respectively. High suitability habitats in cold and warm seasons were located in the northeast of the reserve (the northeast of Kumkury Desert), the middle of the reserve (from Kardun inspection station to the eastern boundary of Aqqikkol Lake) and the southwest of the reserve (near Tuzihu inspection station). Moderate suitability habitats were located in the southeast of the reserve and around the high suitability habitats. The total areas of low suitability habitats were 9930 km2 in cold season and 8400 km2 in warm season. Low suitability habitats were located between moderate suitability habitats and unsuitable areas in cold season, and around Jingyu Lake and moderate suitability habitats in warm season. Unsuitable areas in cold and warm seasons were 24290 and 22810 km2, respectively, and were consisted of the north of reserve, lakes, desert, and high elevation zone. Our study indicated that habitat suitability differed in cold and warm seasons. The distribution of Tibetan antelope was predominantly limited by natural and anthropogenic factors in cold season. The distributions of Tibetan antelope were more concentrative in cold season, but more dispersive in warm season. © 2014, Editorial Board of Chinese Journal of Ecology. All rights reserved. Source

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