Abstract Seasonal changes of habitat use by Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis)were studied in Zhoushan Archipelago, Zhejiang Province,China in March and November 2008. Ten ecological factors,including habitat type,tree cover, shrub cover,grass cover,position on slope (upper,medium,or lower),slope aspect,slope angle,elevation,distances to nearest water and to human disturbance,were measured in 420 sample plots. Discriminant analysis on these ecological factors showed that there was a significant seasonal change in habitat use by the Chinese water deer. The habitat used by the deer in spring and autumn differed significantly in habitat type,tree cover,slope aspect,distances to water and from human disturbance,but not in shrub and grass cover,position on slope,slope angle and elevation. In spring,the Chinese water deer preferred to use broadleaf forest,farmland and slope fields with gentle slopes and low elevations. The animal selected habitats with low coverages of tree,shrub and grass (≤50% ),which were located within a distance of 200 m to the nearest water and a distance of 100 m from human disturbance. In autumn,the deer preferred to use south-facing broadleaf forest,shrub forest,farmland and slope fields with gentle slopes and low elevations. These habitats were usually located
within 600 m to the nearest water,and more than 200 m from human disturbance. The current habitat use of the Chinese water deer in Zhoushan Archipelago is a result of interaction of multiple ecological factors,including significant human disturbance, well-developed secondary arbor forest,dense shrub,and sparse grass. These results provide important information for the management of this endangered species and will improve management of endangered Chinese water deer population.