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Li Y.-Q.,Beijing Forestry University | Xing S.-H.,Beijing Forestry University | Liu S.-Q.,Mengla Management Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | Luo A.-D.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | Cui G.-F.,Beijing Forestry University
Beijing Linye Daxue Xuebao/Journal of Beijing Forestry University | Year: 2013

Wildlife path is one of the most effective ways to slow down the fragmentation of wildlife habitat, which was caused by the rapid development of railway and road. The concept, application objects, design principles, design basis of wildlife path were established, the design requirements of wildlife path parameters (such as location, quantity, form, width, height, ground matrix and environment of the openings) were given. Taken Sixiao Highway Wildlife Path of Yunnan as example, the ratio of Asian elephant path utilization between September 2005 to May 2008 was only 40%, and "the matching degree of path location and the migration routes" was the decisive factor for Asian elephants. In order to evaluate the effectiveness and ensure the long-term viability of the wildlife path, an uninterrupted monitoring and the reconstruction design with pertinence are advised.

Lin L.,Hainan Normal University | Lin L.,Beijing Normal University | Jin Y.,Beijing Normal University | Yang H.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | And 4 more authors.
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2015

The Asian elephant(Elephas maximus)is listed under the first class of national protected species in China, and the majority of wild elephants live in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. In this study, we applied Ecological Niche Factor Analysis(ENFA)with 3S technique to evaluate habitat quality to predict suitable habitat for Asian elephants in Xishuangbanna, using the distribution data of elephants collected between 2003 and 2008.Based on ENFA, the marginality value was 1.375 and the tolerance value was 0.478, which showed that the selection of environmental variables by the elephants was non-random, though they had certain tolerance and adaptability to the environment. The primary factor affecting habitat quality was the vegetation, specifically the bamboo forest, indicating that food is the most important factor for elephants in selecting suitable habitat.As the elephant distribution data in farmlands made up 45.2% of all data points, we conducted ENFA using all distribution and non-farmland data respectively. When using all data points, the total area of habitat, including optimal, suitable and marginal habitat, for elephants was 5 507.9 km2 and the farmlands accounted for 35.7%, while using non-farmland data points, the total area of habitat decreased to 2 855.4 km2 and the farmlands accounted for 6.3%. Therefore, the habitat predicted by non-farmland was the real suitable habitat for wild elephants in Xishuangbanna and is scattered in Mengyang, Mengla, Shangyong, Menglun, Naban-River reserves and their surrounding areas. Currently, the natural habitat of wild elephants is isolated by farmlands, and corridors should be established in selective areas to conserve the wild elephants more effectively. ©, 2015, Science Press. All right reserved.

Lin L.,Hainan Normal University | Wang L.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | Guo X.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | Luo A.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er) carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural habitats are critical for the survival of Asian elephants in this region. © 2015 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Guo X.-M.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | He Q.,Yunnan University | Wang L.-X.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | Yang Z.-B.,Research Institute of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve | And 2 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2012

Establishing food source base for Asian elephants is to attract them returning to the depths of nature reserve, and to reduce the human-elephant conflict (HEC). In 2005-2010, a statistical analysis was made on the monitoring data about the activities of Asian elephants in the Mengyang sub-reserve food source base of Xishuangbanna to analyze the activity rhythms of the elephants in the base, and, in combining the cause troubles of the Asian elephants in the surrounding villages of the base, the influences of the food source base on the Asian elephants and surrounding villages were studied, aimed to approach the mitigation effect of the food source base on human-elephant conflict. The food source base supplied large amount of foods to attract Asian elephants, playing definite roles in mitigating the HEC. The monthly and diurnal activity rhythms of the Asian elephants in the base were almost synchronous with the sowing and maturing periods of local crops and the time sequence of the farmers' routine work. During the period of food shortage, the elephants mainly fed on king grass, a kind of introduced alien plants, or raided into villages to feed crops. The nearer the distance between the food source base and the villages, the more Asian elephant-related cause troubles happened. Therefore, great attentions should be paid to the location layout and the appropriate plant species combination in the establishment of food source base for Asian elephants.

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