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Gong S.-P.,Guangdong Entomological Institute South China Institute of Endangered Animals | Yang D.-D.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Chen Y.-H.,Mangshan Nature Museum | Lau M.,Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden | Wang F.-M.,Guangdong Provincial Wildlife Rescue Center
ORYX | Year: 2013

The Endangered Mangshan pit viper Protobothrops mangshanensis is endemic to the Nanling Mountain Range of China. It has been targeted for exploitation to satisfy the international pet trade and zoological collections since it was described. Long-term intensive exploitation and habitat destruction have resulted in drastic reductions in wild populations, pushing this rare species towards extinction. Since 1990 only limited investigations have been conducted and the most optimistic estimation of the population size was 300-500 individuals, in 2000. Since then, however, there have been no updates on the population status of this snake in the wild. To provide baseline data for effective conservation of this species we conducted a study of its status and distribution, during 2007-2010. Only eight individuals were found during fieldwork and we documented the illegal harvesting of >30. The total population of the species was estimated to be 462, occupying c. 105 km 2 in the Nanling Mountain Range. The black market price of a Mangshan pit viper is currently >USD 1,000 kg-1 and illegal trade has led to over-harvesting, which is the greatest threat to the species. Our study indicates that protected areas cannot effectively protect this pit viper if the trade in this species cannot be controlled. Based on the results of our study we present five recommendations for conservation of the species. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2013. Source

Zhang L.-B.,Guangdong Entomological Institute | Wang F.-M.,Guangdong Provincial Wildlife Rescue Center | Liu Q.,Guangdong Entomological Institute | Wei L.,Lishui University
Zoologia | Year: 2015

The activity time of the lesser bamboo bat, Tylonycteris pachypus (Temminck, 1840), was investigated at two observation locations in southern China: Longzhou and Guiping. Two bouts of activity (post dusk and predawn), with an intervening period of night roosting at diurnal roosts, were identified. The period of activity within each bout was usually less than 30 minutes. The activity periods of individuals belonging to the Longzhou population right after dusk and just before dawn lasted longer than those of the the Guiping population. We also found that the nocturnal emergence time of T. pachypus from the Longzhou population happened earlier than in the Guiping population. These findings indicate that the activity time of T. pachypus was quite short at night, and that different locations may affect the nocturnal activity rhythm of this species. © 2015, Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia. All Rights Reserved. Source

Gong S.,South China Institute of Endangered Animals | Hitschfeld E.,Museum of Zoology Museum fur Tierkunde | Hundsdorfer A.K.,Museum of Zoology Museum fur Tierkunde | Auer M.,Museum of Zoology Museum fur Tierkunde | And 4 more authors.
Amphibia Reptilia | Year: 2011

Previous records of horned pitvipers from Vietnam and China are reviewed and the phylogenetic placement of four snakes from two sites in Tianjingshan Forest, China (Ruyan County, Guangdong Province; 24°43′N, 113°03′E, 563 m a.s.l.; 24°43′N, 113°02′E, 585 m a.s.l.) is examined. Using mitochondrial DNA sequence data (12S, 16S, ND4, cyt b; 2306 bp) and Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses, the Tianjingshan pitvipers are revealed as sister to Protobothrops cornutus with a differentiation resembling those of P. flavoviridis and P. tokarensis. This indicates a close relationship with P. cornutus and suggests that Ceratrimeresurus shenlii Liang and Liu, 2003, previously considered a junior synonym of P. cornutus (Smith, 1930), could be a valid subspecies of P. cornutus or a recently split distinct species. However, further studies and samples from intermediate localities are needed to decide whether the observed differentiation reflects a pattern of isolation-by-distance or a phylogeographic, and thus perhaps taxonomically relevant, break. © 2011 BRILL. Source

Hua L.,Guangdong Entomological Institute South China Institute of Endangered Animals | Wang F.,Guangdong Provincial Wildlife Rescue Center | Gong S.,Guangdong Entomological Institute South China Institute of Endangered Animals | Ge Y.,Guangdong Entomological Institute South China Institute of Endangered Animals | And 2 more authors.
Biochemical Genetics | Year: 2014

The big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) is critically endangered because of overharvesting, illegal trade, and habitat destruction. Assessment of genetic variability in existing populations becomes very important to the taxonomy and conservation of this species. Here we describe 14 microsatellite loci isolated from an enriched genomic library of the big-headed turtle, and the polymorphisms of these loci were assessed in 28 individuals from Huizhou, Heyuan, Zhaoqing, and Shaoguan of Guangdong, China. The range of polymorphism information content is 0.305-0.738, and no evidence of significant linkage disequilibrium was found among any pairs of loci. These 14 new polymorphic microsatellite loci can be used in population genetics, taxonomy, phylogeography, behavior ecology, and conservation efforts of Platysternon megacephalum. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media. Source

Gong S.,Guangdong Entomological Institute South China Institute of Endangered Animals | Wang F.,Guangdong Provincial Wildlife Rescue Center | Shi H.,Hainan Normal University | Zhou P.,Hainan Normal University | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Salmonella Pomona, a highly pathogenic serotype, can cause severe human salmonellosis, especially in children. Turtles and other reptiles are reservoirs for S. Pomona, and these cold-blooded animals remain a source of human Salmonella infections. Since the 1980s, this serotype has become a significant public health concern because of the increasing number of cases of S. Pomona infection in humans. To date, outbreaks of Salmonella Pomona infection in humans have mainly occurred in the United States, with some in other countries (e.g. Belgium, Germany, Canada), and most of the infections in humans were associated with turtles and other reptiles. In China, S. Pomona was first isolated from the feces of an infant in Shanghai in 2000, and two further cases of S. Pomona infection in humans were later found in Guangzhou. No one knew the source of S. Pomona in China. In this study, for the first time we isolated S. Pomona from free-living exotic red-eared sliders in the wild in China. Salmonella serotype (. S. Pomona) was isolated from 16 turtle samples. The total carrying rate of S. Pomona in the collected red-eared sliders was 39% (. n=. 41) overall: 40% (. n=. 25) in juveniles and 38% (. n=. 16) in adult turtles. This study suggests that the widespread exotic red-eared sliders may impact on public health and ecosystems of China by transmitting S. Pomona. Additional steps should be considered by the governments and public health agencies to prevent the risk of turtle-associated Salmonella infections in humans in China. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

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