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Zou S.-J.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Song Y.-C.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yang D.-D.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Li P.-F.,Hubei Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2013

To understand the winter bed-site microhabitat characteristics of Pére David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus) can provide theoretical basis for seeking strategies to scientifically protect and effectively manage E. davidianus in winter. In this paper, an investigation was conducted in 61 E. davidianus bed-site quadrants and 70 control quadrants in Hubei Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve from November 2011 to February 2012, aimed to understand the winter bed-site microhabitat selection by E. davidianus in the Reserve. The E. davidianus preferred the habitats with richer food, higher degree of vegetation cover, and better shelter for bedding down in winter. The principal component analysis showed that food richness, ambient temperature, and comfort index were the key factors affecting E. davidianus bed-site microhabitat selection. This study analyzed the reqirements of E. davidianus for the ecological factors of winter bed-site microhabitat, which would help to the in-situ and ex-situ protection of wild E. davidianus population. Source


Song Y.C.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Yang D.D.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Zou S.J.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Li P.F.,Hubei Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve | And 3 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2015

Most male cervids are more prone to dispersal, and disperse over greater distances than that covered by females. Milu (Père David's deer, Elaphurus davidianus) is a large cervid, endemic to China; it was extinct in the wild in the early 20th century, and was reintroduced to China in 1985. Several dozen Milu escaped from the fenced area of the Hubei Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve during the heavy flood of the Yangtze River in 1998, and formed naturally re-wild Milu populations in the Dongting Lake Region. It was unknown whether the re-wild male Milu are also prone to dispersal. We investigated the dispersal behavior of the naturally re-wild Milu in the Dongting Lake Region, China by monitoring populations from 1995 to 2012. Dispersal groups of Milu are classified as male, female, or mixed groups. We recorded 118 dispersal events, of which 26 were mixed groups, three were female groups, and six were male groups. For the recorded groups, we possessed accurate age structure and sex ratio records for 60 groups (23 mixed groups, 3 female groups, and 34 male groups). The results showed that dispersal frequency was higher in the male groups than in the female groups or the mixed groups. Fifty percent of the male dispersing groups contained a single, solitary stag. Dispersal distances in the male, female, and mixed groups were (13.73±8.74) km, (8.95±2.16) km, and (11.05±4.16) km, respectively. However, the three types of groups did not differ significantly in dispersal distances (χ2 = 1.896, df= 2, P = 0.387). The dispersal distances of the female groups were < 15 km, but 89.28% of dispersals by mixed groups and 5.88% by male groups were >25 km. The three types of dispersal groups also differed in size. Mixed groups contained 26.39±15.97 individuals; female groups contained (2.33±1.15), and the male groups contained (2.74±2.86) individuals. The mixed groups were significantly larger than the female or the male groups (female: F = 48.085, df= 55, P < 0.05; male: F = 5.324, df= 24, P = 0.00 < 0.05), but the male and female groups did not differ significantly in size (F = 9.830, df= 35, P = 0.813). The male groups showed three dispersal peaks, in March, June, and November each year; the mixed groups showed four dispersal peaks, in January, March, July, and November; the female groups showed two dispersal peaks, in March and November. In conclusion, the male Milu is more prone to dispersal than the female. The dispersal ability of males is stronger than that of females, which may rely on males to disperse. The findings shed light on the management of naturally re-wild Milu populations. © 2015, Ecological Society of China. All rights reserved. Source


Xu J.-N.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Zhang Y.-M.,Hubei Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve | Yang D.-D.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | Song Y.-C.,Central South University of forestry and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2013

The behaviors displayed by the Pére David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus) harem master during its rutting period play an important role in the population reproduction. In order to approach the differences in the behaviors of E. davidianus harem masters between free-ranging deer and wild deer during their rutting period, a comparative study was made on the feeding, resting, and locomotive and reproductive behaviors of the harem masters in the Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve of Hubei, China from June 1st to July 31st, 2012. The reproductive behaviors included chasing after hinds, driving stags, roaring, antler-adorning, antler-swaging mud, anogenital sniffing, and mounting. Wild harem masters displayed the most behaviors with higher frequencies than free-ranging harem masters. There existed significant differences in the frequencies of resting, locomotion, chasing after hinds, driving stags, roaring, and mounting between the wild and free-ranging harem masters (P<0. 05), but no significant differences in the antler-adorning, antler-swaging mud, and anogenital sniffing (P>0. 05). The time-frequency distribution of resting, locomotion, and roaring also showed no significant differences between the wild and free-ranging harem masters (P>0. 05). Different habitats affected the behavioral expression of the harem masters, and the behavioral frequencies of both the wild and the free-ranging harem masters were different among various habitats. In addition, human disturbances and Yangtze River flood season also had definite effects on the behavioral expression of wild harem masters. To ensure the Pére David's deer population in the Shishou County of Hubei Province being able to expand, it would be important to make the harem masters within and outside the Reserve can adjust their behaviors to adapt to different habitats. Source

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