ACTA Theriologica Sinica

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Individual identification and population size assessment for Asian elephant based on camera-trapping techniques

YANG Zicheng, CHEN Ying, LI Junsong, WANG Lifan, PIAO You, SONG Zhiyong, SHI Kun   

  1. Wildlife Institute, School of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University
  • Online:2018-01-30 Published:2018-04-09


杨子诚 陈颖 李俊松 王利繁 飘优 宋志勇 时坤   

  1. 北京林业大学自然保护区学院野生动物研究所
  • 通讯作者: 时坤
  • 基金资助:

Abstract: We studied and assessed the minimum population number of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Shangyong Sub-Reserve (SYSR), Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China using camera-traps. We set up 27 camera-traps in SYSR from January to April 2016, which ran for a total of 621 camera-trap days and obtained 1944 sample photographs. Within this period individual camera units were active for between 9-52 full days (mean=24). We identified a minimum number of 69 unique individual elephants from photographs (38 adults, 16 sub-adults, 15 calfs) in SYSR. We detected 7 Asian elephants that moved actively across the China-Laos border. The advantages and disadvantages of our camera-trap methodology compared with those of other techniques for individual identification is discussed, and we explore the potential for robust methods for fast, real-time and effective population evaluation in the future. This study strengthened our understanding of Asian elephant status in SYSR and provides scientific evidence to support conservation planning and actions.

Key words: Elephant, Camera trap, Individual identification, Population, Assessment

摘要: 以云南西双版纳国家级自然保护区尚勇子保护区内亚洲象种群为研究对象,通过自动红外照相技术,估算了该地区亚洲象的最小种群数量。本研究于2016年1月,在研究区域内共布设了27个相机位点,野外安放时间为4个月。调查期间,每台相机的有效捕获日为9-52d不等(均值为24d),红外相机有效捕获日621d,拍摄到亚洲象照片共1944张。通过红外相机照片开展个体识别,最终估算出尚勇保护区内亚洲象的最小种群数量为69头(其中成年象38头,亚成象15头,幼象16头)。拍到7头活动于中国-老挝边境区域的跨境象群。本文探讨利用红外相机拍摄的亚洲象照片进行个体识别的方法,指出与常规调查方法相比较的优势和不足,作为快速、实时有效的种群评估方法的价值。研究结果丰富了保护区内亚洲象种群数据库,为研究、制定和开展亚洲象保护行动提供重要支撑。

关键词: 亚洲象, 红外相机, 个体识别, 种群数量, 评估