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Chengdu, China

Yuan S.,China West Normal University | Mu H.,China West Normal University | Cao S.,China West Normal University | Zhang M.,China West Normal University | And 4 more authors.
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2014

Studies on habitat requirements are essential for efficient management actions. However, detailed information is still scarce for Niviventer confucianus and Apodemus draco in the Hengduan Mountains on their habitat requirements. Data on habitats utilized by sympatric N. confucianus and A. draco were collected using transect line sampling from April to December 2008 in Fengtongzhai Nature Reserve, China. The results indicated that both mammals exhibited an obvious habitat preference across seasons. In spring, N. confucianus preferred habitats at lower elevations, with thicker leaf litter, lower bamboo cover, shorter total length of fallen logs and higher tree diversity, and A. draco preferred habitats at lower elevations and with higher percentage of nut trees. In summer-autumn, N. confucianus frequently occurred at sites with lower elevations and thicker leaf litter, while A. draco preferred habitats with thicker leaf litter and higher percentage of nut trees. In winter, N. confucianus preferred sites with lower elevations and dead tree density, and higher canopy and percentage of nut trees. In contrast, A. draco preferred habitats with thicker leaf litter and higher shrub density. Variables closely relating to food availability and predation risks contributed more to discriminating habitat plots from control ones, implying that the two factors played an important role in shaping their process of habitat selection. In addition, both mammals exhibited a distinct habitat use pattern from each other, and some variables, such as elevation, contributed more to their habitat separation across seasons, which can potentially reduce interspecific competition and further facilitate their coexistence in sympatry. © NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2014. Source


Hong M.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | Hong M.,Chongqing University | Yuan S.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | Yang Z.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | And 4 more authors.
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2015

The giant panda is an iconic forest-dwelling conservation species worldwide. Preservation of forests is considered essential to keep their populations sustainable in the wild. However, little effort has been made to uncover effects of selective logging on their abundance and habitat selection. In this research, we conducted a field survey during May-November 2012 in Liziping National Nature Reserve, China, to compare trace abundance and microhabitat selection by giant pandas in primary and secondary forests. Our results indicated that forest structure varied significantly in selectively logged forests, especially for tree and bamboo layers. Slope and bamboos are significant variables affecting microhabitat utilization by giant pandas in the two forest types. Significant difference was found in rations of elevations, total trees, total shrubs, total dead bamboos and basal diameter of biennial bamboos between primary and secondary forests, indicating selective logging had an effect on microhabitat selection by giant pandas in the study area. In addition, trace abundance, as indexed by droppings and dropping groups per km, decreased significantly in secondary forests. Selective logging can not only affect the inner structure of forests in giant panda habitats, but also their spatial distribution and microhabitat selection behaviors. The flexibility in microhabitat selection of giant pandas can help them to adapt to surrounding conditions. In the future, conservation attention should be paid to the effects of forest types on habitat selection of captive released giant pandas, and gentle areas in habitats when patrolling and monitoring. © 2015 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Source


Lei M.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | Yuan S.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | Yang Z.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | Hong M.,Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

The female giant panda Zhangxiang (pedigree number 826) was born on August 20, 2011 in Wolong Nature Reserve, China. On November 6, 2013, Zhangxiang was transported into the acclimatization enclosure in the Liziping Nature Reserve. Before Zhangxiang left the enclosure into the wild, we conducted the first study to compare microhabitats and foraging strategies between Zhangxiang in the enclosure and giant pandas in the wild. Compared with the latter, microhabitats of Zhangxiang in the enclosure are characteristic of gentler slope, more trees, higher canopy, smaller tree DBH, and lower density of living bamboos. Diet composition and foraging behaviors significantly differed between Zhangxiang and wild giant pandas, perhaps reflecting the combined consequence of environmental conditions (e.g., bamboo species) and individual status (e.g., age, mastication ability, etc.). The difference in microhabitats and foraging strategies between Zhangxiang and wild giant pandas implied that after being released into the natural habitat in the reserve, Zhangxiang will have to adapt to the environmental conditions once again. For future reintroduction, the enclosure can be extended to the Bashania spanostachya forest in the reserve, and captive giant pandas for release can thus normally transit into the wild without human intervention during acclimatization period. For other acclimatization enclosures to be constructed in the future, ecological environment inside, including topography, forests, and bamboos as well, should as possible as can match the habitat that the giant panda to-be-reinforced populations inhabit. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source


Hong M.,China West Normal University | Hong M.,Chongqing University | Wei W.,China West Normal University | Yang Z.,China West Normal University | And 5 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2016

Timber harvesting can alter understory plant diversity, abundance and composition, and in turn shape behaviors of a variety of animals. By far, little is known about the effects of timber harvesting on bamboo understory and feeding-site selection by giant pandas. Here, we investigated differences in crude protein, crude fat and tannin in Arundinaria spanostachya and feeding-site selection by giant pandas in primary and secondary forests in Liziping Nature Reserve, China. One hundred and twenty plots were established in the wild, including 30 feeding-site plots and 30 control plots in primary and secondary forests respectively. The results indicated that after timber harvesting, bamboo grows denser in secondary forests, with decreased crude protein content and increased tannin content, especially in leaves. Giant pandas exhibited distinct feeding-site selection patterns in primary and secondary forests. In primary forests, giant pandas appear to randomly forage bamboo across age groups but feed more on perennial bamboo culms (≥ 3 yr) and less on annual bamboo culms (≤ 1 yr) in secondary forests. Above findings highlight the importance of conserving the primary forests in the Xiaoxiangling Mountains, and suggest that training and acclimatization of captive individuals for release should be as possible as can conducted in primary forests without human disturbance. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

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