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    Impacts of a road on abundance of wild animals through infrared camera monitoring: a case study of road inside Guanyinshan National Nature Reserve
    SOO Yu Han, CAI Qiong, ZHU Ziyu, HE Xiangbo, LIU Xuehua, Melissa Songer
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 49-57.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150504
    Abstract1359)   HTML303)    PDF (11981KB)(1307)       Save
    From July 2014 to October 2018, 20 infrared cameras were used to monitor the impacts of an internal road on the activities of wild mammals and birds in Guanyinshan National Nature Reserve in Shaanxi. A total of 16 168 pieces of photographs were obtained with 13 species of wild mammals and 14 species of wild birds. Among the detected species, 4 are listed as Class Ⅰ state key protected wild animals in China and 7 as Class Ⅱ. The result showed that the further away from the road, the more animal species appeared. 2 species of mammals only appeared in the area that is 100 m away from the road, which indicated that certain mammals showed an obvious avoidance effect on the road. As 8 species of birds only appeared in an area 50 m away from the road, birds showed a stronger avoidance effect than mammals. However, roads with fewer vehicles at night can provide easier night mobility for certain mammals, so the intensity of activity at night of takin ( Budorcas taxicolor) near the road increased. Only the wild boar ( Sus scrofa) in the area 5 m away from the road showed a peak in night activity to avoid human disturbance during the day. Only golden pheasant ( Chrysolophus pictus) in an area 100 m away from the road have similar activity time as other studies in Qinling. This showed that golden pheasants near the road changed their activity time to adapt to road disturbance. Our study preliminarily proved that roads have a certain impact on wild animals. We suggest studies on road ecology in the whole Guanyinshan National Nature Reserve area.
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    Positional behavior of Assam macaque ( Macaca assamensis) living in the limestone forest of southwest Guangxi, China
    LIU Zheng, LIU Shengyuan, LI Youbang, HUANG Zhonghao
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 12-23.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150543
    Abstract1139)   HTML314)    PDF (1650KB)(1375)       Save
    Positional behavior studies have vital importance for understanding the adaptation mechanism of primates to their habitat. To explore seasonal and daily variations of Assam macaques ( Macaca assamensis) positional behavior and the influence of food composition and ecological factors on this type of behavior, we collected positional behavioral data via instantaneous scan sampling method from September 2012 to August 2013 at Guangxi Nonggang National Nature Reserve, located in southwest China. The quadrupedal walking (45. 3% ±7. 6%) was observed as the most frequently used locomotion mode, followed by leaping (28. 8% ±4. 8%), climbing (23. 9% ±6. 2%), quadrupedal running (1. 2% ±0. 7%) and bridging (0. 9% ±0. 6%), with a significant difference. Locomotion modes varied significantly between seasons. Assam macaques used bridging more frequently in fruit-rich season but used climbing less during the fruit-lean season. However, the other modes of locomotion did not significantly vary in the different seasons. Assam macaques were documented to climb more often in the afternoon than during the morning period. There were also significant variations in the macaques' postures. Specifically, sitting (91. 7% ±4. 1%) was the dominant posture, followed by standing-forelimb suspending (4. 2% ±3. 3%), suspending (1. 9% ±1. 6%), quadrupedal standing (1. 4% ±1. 8%), and lying (0. 8% ±0. 5%). In addition, we observed a variety of significant different postures during different activities. For instance, sitting (87. 3% ±6. 1%) and standing-forelimb suspending (7. 9% ±5. 5%) was the dominant postural modes for feeding, sitting (95. 6% ±2. 8%) and lying (3. 1% ±2. 2%) was the dominant postural mode during the grooming behavior; and sitting (97. 1% ±1. 4%) and quadrupedal standing (2. 2% ±1. 1%) was the dominant postural modes observed during the resting periods. There was no significant seasonal variation in observations related to the different postures of this group of macaques. Lying and suspending posture were more frequently used in the morning (06:00-11:59) than during the afternoon (12:00-19:00). Nevertheless, diet and ecological factors were important parameters that affected the positional behavior of macaques. We established both model I (including fruits) and model II (including immature leaves) to test the effects of diet composition on the positional behavior of Assam macaques. These results provided evidence of the effects of diet and ecological factors on the positional behavior of Assam macaques. This study highlights the necessity to increase the knowledge of behavioral ecology and to understand the influence of ecological factors on the survival of Assam macaque in the limestone forest.
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    New records of bat species and their conservation status in Macao, China
    WANG Junhua, WONG Kai-Chin, CHEK Si-Nga, VU Ka-Man, CHAN Hoi-Hou, LIANG Jie, HE Xiangyang, ZHANG Libiao
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 125-130.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150521
    Abstract1115)   HTML311)    PDF (23206KB)(1109)       Save
    Between 2013 and 2019, we surveyed the bats of Macao aiming to shed further light on the local bat diversity and to evaluate the bat population size. By undertaking a roost survey, and recording bat morphological characteristics and echolocation calls, we were able to identify bat species and estimate their population size. We identified six previously unrecorded species for Macao belonging to 5 genera and 3 families. The newly recorded bats were Rhinolophus affinis and R. sinicus (Rhinolophidae), Chaerephon plicatus (Molossidae), Tylonycteris fulvida, Scotophilus kuhlii, and Vespertilio sinensis (Vespertilionidae). Together with the previously recorded species, the diversity of bats in Macao now totals 16 species (11 genera, 5 families). We describe the distributions, morphological characteristics and echolocation calls of the six newly added bats species. Finally, the population and conservation status of the bats in Macao are also discussed.
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    Review on embryonic diapause and its regulation mechanisms in mammals
    LIU Jun, ZHANG Peijun, LI Songhai
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 95-107.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150482
    Abstract1047)   HTML239)    PDF (4497KB)(970)       Save
    Embryonic diapause is a survival strategy and reproductive state that is widespread in mammals. It starts prior to implantation when embryo development is minimized or put on hold, and terminates when embryo development is reactivated. Embryonic diapause is supposed to be reversible and harmless to the subsequent embryo development and it has two types:facultative diapause and obligate diapause. Facultative diapause is activated by lactation whereas obligate diapause is activated by seasonal photoperiod. The entrance, maintenance, and reactivation of embryonic diapause are all regulated by the relative levels of prolactin, progesterone, or ovarian estrogen. In addition to hormone regulation, the molecular mechanisms of embryonic diapause have been studied in several mammal species. A large number of potential factors that could regulate embryonic diapause were reported, including nutrients, proteases, cytokines, growth factors and transcription factors. In the present study, we reviewed previous studies on embryonic diapause, summarized current knowledge, and then proposed some scientific suggestions for further research needed on this topic.
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    Differential expression genes analysis of liver in Maiwa yak at different growth stages
    FU Fang, WANG Li, ZI Xiangdong
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 85-94.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150506
    Abstract988)   HTML169)    PDF (7938KB)(1390)       Save
    The study was conducted to detect the expression pattern of genes in yak liver growth. The transcriptome sequencing of 1-day-old (LD), 15-month-old (LM) and 5-year-old (LY) healthy Maiwa yaks were performed by using Illumina (HiSeqTM2500) high-throughput sequencing platform, and the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in livers of yaks at different growth stages were verified by qRT-PCR. The results indicated that 325, 85 and 84 significantly DEGs with higher expression levels in LD, LM and LY than the other two groups, respectively ( P < 0. 05). The DEGs were significantly enriched in 102, 104 and 134 GO terms and 19, 13 and 19 KEGG pathways, respectively ( P < 0. 05). The oxidation-reduction-related process, development process, and metabolic-related process were the largest proportion of GO terms. The PI3K Akt signaling pathway, focal adhesion and ECM receptor interaction were the largest proportion of KEGG pathways. In addition, qRT-PCR results showed that the expressions of CYP7B1, PGFS2, CYP1A1, UGT2C1-1, UGT2C1L, HSD11B1, CYP2C19 and UGT2C1-2 were consistent with those of RNA-Seq. In summary, this study provides powerful experimental data for further exploring the yak liver development at different growth stages and a reference for in-depth understanding of yak liver growth and development process.
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    Effects of roads on the abundance and habitat of Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan gazelle in the Yellow River Source Zone of Sanjiangyuan National Park
    Huangqingdongzhi, CHEN Liuyang, LI Shangpeng, SUN Zhangyun, YANG Mingxin, ZHANG Dexi, LI Chengxian, MAO Ruirui, LI Zeyu, ZHANG Lixun
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 34-48.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150567
    Abstract971)   HTML97)    PDF (19893KB)(1053)       Save
    We sought to understand the effects of roads on the populations and habitat of Tibetan wild ass (Equus kiang) and Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata) in the Yellow River Source Zone of Sanjiangyuan National Park. We conducted a field survey to estimate population size, density and distribution of Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan gazelle in the region in autumn 2020 using a line transect sampling method. We then used the MaxEnt to assess habitat suitability of the two species under four different scenarios of road density and road type. The total length of the survey line was 1 320. 63 km, along which 2 231 Tibetan wild asses and 822 Tibetan gazelles were observed. The density of Tibetan wild ass was (1. 18 ±0. 34) individuals/km2 and the estimated abundance ranged from 2 400 to 7 632. The density of Tibetan gazelle was (0. 94 ±0. 14) individuals/km2 and the estimated abundance ranged from 1 765 to 3 219. MaxEnt predicted that the suitable habitat areas of Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan gazelle were 3 641. 34 km2 and 2 525. 18 km2, accounting for 19. 2% and 13. 3% of the entire Yellow River Source Zone, respectively. Distance to low-grade roads, annual precipitation, altitude and normalized difference vegetation index were the most important factors affecting habitat suitability for Tibetan wild ass.Distance to low-grade roads, altitude, aspect and slope were the most important factors affecting habitat suitability for Tibetan gazelle. The overlapping suitable habitat area of the two species was 2 240. 15 km2, accounting for 61. 5% and 88. 7% of the suitable habitat of Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan gazelle, respectively. The suitable habitats of Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan gazelle in autumn were mainly distributed in the central part of the Yellow River Source Zone. The road scenarios analysis indicated that:(1) the three scenarios including road variables resulted in varying degrees of habitat area loss and consequent population declines for both species when compared to the scenario with no roads. Scenarios with all road variables resulted in the smallest area of suitable habitat and the smallest populations for both species with 27. 2% and 42. 3% of suitable area lost for Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan gazelle respectively. (2) Different types of roads have different degrees of influence on the habitat area and populations of the two species. Low-grade roads cause greater habitat area loss and greater population declines for both species compared to highgrade roads. (3) The two species respond differently to road disturbance, with Tibetan gazelle suffering a greater loss of suitable habitat and experiencing a greater reduction in population size. This study provides evidence for ungulate conservation and roads managed on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau by quantitatively assessing the effects of different types of roads on the habitats and populations of two ungulate species.
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    Personality assessment and sex differences of captive South China tiger ( Panthera tigris amoyensis)
    KONG Xuanmin, ZHANG Xueli, CHEN Siming, ZHANG Peng, DONG Guixin
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 24-33.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150573
    Abstract967)   HTML86)    PDF (1504KB)(1120)       Save
    Personality research plays an important role in the ecological adaptation and ex situ conservation of wildlife. Surprisingly, personality traits of South China tiger ( Panthera tigris amoyensis), the most endangered tiger subspecies, have not been explored. In this paper, we used the personality characteristics evaluation method to assess 6 captive South China tigers, The diversity of personality characteristics of South China tigers of different genders was compared. and the novel object test was used to further verify the results of the personality characteristics evaluation method. The result showed three dimensions of personality traits. trusting-friendly, aggressive-dominant, and curious-adaptation. we also found that males had a higher score in aggressive-dominant than females. This study provides some research data for the delicate breeding management of South China tigers and provides references for the conservation and reintroduction of South China tigers.
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    The energy budget of striped hamsters in response to food shortage at different temperatures
    Daliang HUO, Shasha LIAO, Jing CAO, Zhijun ZHAO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 58-68.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150584
    Abstract955)   HTML206)    PDF (1925KB)(927)       Save

    Food availability is one of the most important problems for animals in natural environments. The ‘metabolic rate conversion’ hypothesis suggests that animals can decrease their metabolic rate to reduce energy expenditure, which is an important energy strategy for coping with food shortage. However, the ‘metabolic rate conversion’ strategy of the non-hibernating small mammals to cope with food shortage at different ambient temperatures remains uncertain. To address this issue, adult male striped hamsters were deprived of food for 24 h, 36 h and 48 h, at cold (5.0℃), room (21.0℃) and high temperatures (32.5℃) and then refed ad libitum for 5 weeks. Abdominal temperature was measured using implanted i-button. The metabolic rate, resting metabolic rate (RMR) and nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) were determined using open oxygen analysis system. Serum T3 and T4 levels were determined using radioimmunoassay technology. The results showed that body temperature significantly decreased at 5.0℃ and 21.0℃ following food deprivation compared to that at 32.5℃. The average metabolic rate over day and night, RMR, and NST significantly increased at cold temperature, and decreased at hot temperature, whereas they did not differ significantly between the groups of food deprivation and refeeding. The fat deposit significantly decreased following food deprivation, during which the rate of fat mobilization was higher at cold temperature than that at hot temperature. The fat deposit significantly increased following refeeding, which was considerably inhibited at cold temperature compared to that at hot temperature. The T3 and T4 levels did not significantly differ between the groups of food deprivation and refeeding. Consistent with the changes in metabolic rate, serum T3 and T4 levels were significantly affected by temperature, with increasing at cold temperature relative to that at hot temperature. It suggests that the striped hamsters have a similar metabolic rate at different temperatures during food shortage to that during refeeding period, inconsistent with the ‘metabolic rate conversion’ hypothesis. The food-deprived striped hamsters have higher metabolic rate at cold temperature to meet the energy requirements of body temperature regulation, within which the roles of thyroid hormones in stimulating heat production would be one of the most important mechanisms.

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    New records of Sorex cansulus Thomas, 1912 in Sichuan, Qinghai and Shaanxi provinces
    HUANG Yunjia, TANG Keyi, WANG Xuming, WAN Tao, FU Changkun, WANG Qiong, CHEN Shunde, LIU Shaoying
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 118-124.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150569
    Abstract926)   HTML106)    PDF (13318KB)(1104)       Save
    When examining the Sorex shrew samples collected between 2011 and 2018, we found 24 specimens from Sichuan (Shiqu, Jiuzhaigou, Pingwu, Heishui, Wenchuan, Maoxian, Kangding), Qinghai (Banma), and Shaanxi (Taibai Mountain) suspected to be a Gansu shrew Sorex cansulus. Based on morphological characteristics, skull measurement comparison, Kimura-2-parameter distance and Bayesian phylogenetic tree analysis, these specimens were confirmed to be Sorex cansulus. This is the first time that Sorex cansulus has been discovered in Sichuan, Qinghai, and Shaanxi provinces. This study further determines the distribution range and biological information of Sorex cansulus.
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    Camera-trapping survey of mammals and birds in the Guizhou Dashahe National Nature Reserve
    LI Qiaoming, GOU Wei, JI Chengpeng, XIAO Wenhong, CHEN Sikan, XIAO Zhishu
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 108-117.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150536
    Abstract893)   HTML92)    PDF (2255KB)(1100)       Save
    From December 2016 to August 2019, we set up 85 grids (1 km×1 km) and 114 camera-trapping stations to investigate the wildlife resources of mammals and birds in the Dashahe National Nature Reserve, Guizhou province, China. Our survey included 19 950 trap days and 10 767 independent pictures. We identified a total of 86 species from 35 families and 12 orders, including 25 species of mammals belonging to 14 families and 5 orders and 61 species of birds belonging to 21 families and 7 orders. Among them, 4 species were listed as Class Ⅰ and 19 species were listed as Class Ⅱ National Protected Wildlife in China, and 24 species were recorded for the first time in the Dashahe reserve. The most abundant mammal species based on the relative abundance index and grid occupancy were Muntiacus reevesi, Paguma larvata, and Sus scrofa. In addition, the most abundant bird species were Chrysolophus pictus, Tragopan temminckii, and Leiothrix argentauris. Our results provide basic information on the relative abundance of terrestrial wild mammals and birds for protection management and long-term monitoring in this reserve.
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    Effect of tannic acid on the antioxidant level and the expression of liver autophagy-related genes in Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii)
    FAN Ruiyang, WANG Huiyuan, WANG Daochen, DAI Xin, YANG Shengmei
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 76-84.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150577
    Abstract828)   HTML86)    PDF (1608KB)(972)       Save
    Tannins are phenolic secondary metabolites that are present in various plants and have potential antioxidant properties. However, the effect of tannins on autophagy in animals remains unclear. In the present study, 4-week-old Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii) were fed low and high doses of tannic acid (TA) solution for 9 weeks. The variations in serum antioxidant levels and the expression of liver autophagy-related genes in relation to the TA dose were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), respectively. TA had no evident effects on the rates of growth of body weight and liver index in the voles. The level of serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) was higher in the high-dose TA group than in the control group, but the level of serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and the expression levels of both Beclin1 and p62 in the liver were lower in the highdose TA group than in the control group. Levels of serum glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and catalase (CAT) were higher in the high-dose TA group than in the control group, but the expression level of LC3A in the liver was lower in the high-dose group than in the control group. In both the low-dose and high-dose TA groups, the serum GSH-Px levels were higher in male voles than in female voles, and in the high-dose TA group, the serum CAT levels were also higher in male voles than in female voles. Our research demonstrates that certain doses of TA could improve antioxidant levels and reduce autophagy in the liver, but the response of the antioxidant system to TA was stronger in male voles than in female voles. Our findings suggest that low consumption of tannin from plants could improve the antioxidant capabilities of wild Brandt's voles, thereby benefiting their population.
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    Comparative on the expression of MC1R gene and the contents of UCP1, Hb and Mb of Eothenomys miletus at different altitudes from Hengduan Mountain region in winter
    HAN Chunyan, JIA Ting, WANG Yan, WANG Zhengkun, ZHU Wanlong, ZHANG Hao
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (1): 69-75.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150562
    Abstract827)   HTML85)    PDF (7454KB)(963)       Save
    In order to explore the variations of coat color, physiological and blood indexes in Eothenomys miletus at different elevations in winter, samples were collected from north to south of Hengduan Mountain region in Deqin (DQ), Shangri-la (XGLL), Lijiang (LJ), Jianchuan (JC) and Ailao Mountain (ALS) from north to south, Gene sequence of melanocortin receptor1 ( MC1R) was amplified by PCR and the expression of MC1R gene in skin was determined by FQPCR. The contents of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue, hemoglobin (Hb) and myoglobin (Mb) in serum were measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). The results showed that the amplified MC1R fragment was a partial sequence of about 200 bp. MC1R gene expression in E. miletus from ALS and JC was significantly higher than from LJ, XGLL and DQ. Contents of UCP1 and Mb in E. miletus from DQ and XGLL were significantly higher than that those from ALS, JC and LJ. But Hb content showed no significant difference among the five regions. All of the above results showed that E. miletus could change the coat color by changing the expression of MC1R gene and increase the thermogenesis capacity by elevating the content of Mb and UCP1 in order to adapt to the environmental changes at different altitudes from Hengduan Mountain region.
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    Impacts of human interference on the potential distribution of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys by MaxEnt model
    Tianlu QIAN, Shujie QIN, Zhaoning WU, Changbai XI, Jiechen WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 349-361.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150608
    Abstract807)   HTML190)    PDF (11178KB)(662)       Save

    Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are rare and precious primates, endemic to China. Predicting the habitat range, evaluating the influence of human activities, and assessing conservation gaps are important for the conservation of this species. Based on 78 occurrence records of Yunnan snub-nosed monkey and 11 environmental variables (including 7 natural variables and 4 human variables), we use the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) and spatial analysis technology to construct potential suitable habitat models for Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys with and without human interference. Travel big data was used to estimate human travel density and included in the analyses as one of the human variables. The results showed that: (1) The model has achieved an accurate prediction. The human travel density properly reflects the human interferences on habitat. (2) The area of highly suitable habitat for Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys is 3 487.28 km2. The four main factors that affect the potential distribution of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys are altitude, annual precipitation, human travel density, and distance to roads. (3) Human activities have a negative impact on habitat, among which human travel density has the strongest impact. Human interferences lead to a 9.32% decrease of suitable habitats compared to that with natural environment only. 78.8% of the study area is under the influence of human activities. (4) Three of 15 existing habitat patches of Yunnan snub-nosed monkey groups are facing serious human interference while having high suitability, which can be key conservation areas. The habitat suitability curves become stable when the distance to residents and roads is 2 500 m or further, indicating a potential buffer distance in species conservation. It is of practical significance for conservation to reduce the intensity of human disturbance in these areas.

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    Potential effect on migration of Asian elephants and human-elephant conflict by the Meng'a reservoir in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna
    LIU Jiaqi, WANG Yihan, ZHANG Lei, CUI Ning, LYU Ting, HUANG Yuan, DAI Rong, LI Zhengling, CHEN Mingyong
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (3): 227-239.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150578
    Abstract762)   HTML228)    PDF (7426KB)(802)       Save
    From January to December 2020, the population structure and migration routes of Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus) in the proposed Meng' a reservoir in Menghai County in Xishuanbanna were investigated by using semi-structured interview method, tracking survey method, and UAV tracking survey method. In addition, the edible plants and habitat suitability of Asian elephants in this region were investigated and analyzed by using the quadrat method and 3S technology, in order to explore the potential impact of the proposed Meng' a reservoir on the migration of Asian elephants and human-elephant conflict. The results showed that:(1) The small population of Asian elephants living around the proposed Meng' a reservoir area is named the western Lancang River Asian elephant population or Xishuangbanna Menghai-Pu' er Lancang Asian elephant population, which only consists of only 19 elephants (10 ♂, 9 ♀). And two migration routes were used by Asian elephants across this area; (2) A total of 33 species representing 32 genera, 19 families, and 12 orders of foraging plants of Asian elephants were identified in this area, which could basically meet the feeding needs of this Asian elephant population; (3) The results of suitability analysis of ecological factors, such as altitude, slope, vegetation concealments and food resources showed that most of the areas (14. 61% of the total area was optimal habitat and 82. 05% of the total area was relative suitable habitat) could meet the basic living needs of this small Asian elephant population; (4) One of the two Asian elephant migration routes will be blocked by flooding water of the reservoir construction, forcing the herd to change its original migration route; (5) An entire area of habitat will be further cut and compressed, and vegetation in flooded areas will be permanently destroyed; (6) When the food resources cannot meet the survival needs of Asian elephants, they may choose to enter the agricultural areas where they can obtain a large amount of food in a short time to get food crops and cash crops in a short time. With the increase of number of people and traffic flow, the chance for Asian elephants to meet people will also greatly increase. The analysis suggests that the Meng' a reservoir may not only block one of the two migration routes of Asian elephants but also lead to more serious human-elephant conflict. We suggest that effective conservation and management measures should be taken in the process of reservoir design and construction to reduce the negative impact on the Asian elephants and their habitat. Reservoir construction and management departments and forestry and grassland management departments should strengthen monitoring and early warning of Asian elephant activities to avoid casualties and greater economic and property losses caused by Asian elephant accidents.
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    Viewpoints of the wildlife conservation biology research on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Fuwen WEI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 475-476.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150734
    Abstract656)   HTML18)    PDF (1188KB)(393)       Save

    The Qinghai?Tibet Plateau, as an important ecological barrier in China, is a natural laboratory for wildlife conservation biology research due to the uniqueness and richness in animal resources. Although the wildlife conservation researches have made great achievements in this area, we could further strengthen the following three aspects benefited from the development of science and technology. First, the long-term monitoring of wildlife populations and habitats on the plateau should be maintained; Second, multi and crossing disciplines and macro and micro points of view should be combined to conduct integrative biology researches; Third, the training of youth scientists for the wildlife conservation on the plateau should be further strengthened.

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    Density estimation and suitable habitat prediction of Indo-Pacific finless porpoise in the Beibu Gulf
    Xiangyao MENG, Huazhi WANG, Yu ZHOU, Hongke ZHANG, Ying QIAO, Bingyao CHEN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 362-369.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150634
    Abstract611)   HTML162)    PDF (8848KB)(387)       Save

    There is little information about the Indo-Pacific finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) in China. Between 2018 and 2020, we conducted boat surveys in the inshore of Guangxi Hepu State Dugong National Natural Reserve and offshore of Weizhou Island waters using the line-transect sampling method. The density of finless porpoise estimated using DISTANCE software in Dugong National Natural Reserve was 0.273 (0.133 - 0.561) ind./km2, with a population of 88 (95%CI: 43 - 181). The population density in Weizhou Island was 0.100 (0.048 - 0.210) ind./km2, with a mean population of 137 (95%CI: 65 - 286). We also used MaxEnt software to analyze the distribution of suitable habitats for finless porpoises in the Beibu Gulf. The AUC values of the MaxEnt model were 0.980 and 0.927 for the training and test sets, respectively, indicating good model performance. The model indicates that offshore distance and water depth are the main factors affecting the habitat distribution of Indo-Pacific finless porpoise. It was predicted that the northeastern coastal area of Beibu Gulf and the western side of Hainan were the most suitable habitat for the finless porpoise. The habitat area with suitability greater than 0.5 was 14 630.62 km2. From 2018 to 2020, the area of suitable habitat for Indo-Pacific finless porpoise decreased significantly by 40% compared with that in 2013. According to the density of the two groups and suitable habitat area, it was estimated that there are about 1 463 - 3 994 Indo-Pacific finless porpoises in Beibu Gulf. Thus, the number of finless porpoises in the Beibu Gulf is relatively high. Adequate attention should be paid to the protection of the Indo-Pacific finless porpoise. We suggest strengthening the protection of the marine ecosystem, restoring fish resources, controlling anthropogenic activities, especially fishing boats, and establishing new nature reserves.

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    Timing and synchrony of births in reintroduced Père David’s deer ( Elaphurus davidianus)
    Qinghui MENG, Chao BAI, Yuan SONG, Yunfang SHAN, Junfang LI, Shumiao ZHANG, Jiade BAI, Zhenyu ZHONG, Chenglin ZHANG, Xiuxiang MENG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 379-386.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150462
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    The sustained reproduction is an important landmark of successful adaptation of reintroduced species to climate recovery in the original extinction area. The study of synchronous population reproduction before and after reintroduction can provide accurate breeding prediction information and scientific basis for reintroduction managers. In this paper, we collected the birthing data of the reintroduced Père David’s deer population in Beijing in 1987, 1997, 2007, and 2017. The earliest birthing day of each year was used as a baseline to evaluate the delay in birth of reintroduced individuals and to measure the synchronization rate. ANOVA was used to analyze the effects of temperature, precipitation, air humidity, and light on the birthing timing pattern of reintroduced Père David’s deer. The results showed that, (1) After reintroduction, the annual birth rhythm of the population initially oscillated, then gradually reverted, and finally remained in a relatively stable state. After 85 years (from extinction to reintroduction), the first birthing of the new population in Beijing was delayed by 35 ? 42 days compared with that of Woburn Abbey population. Reintroduction of colonization stage: the birth rhythm of the new population was advanced annually. Population propagation stage: the rhythm of birth was delayed annually. Population recovery stage: the rhythm of birth was re-back slightly year by year and finally remained stable. (2) Deer parturition has more intense periodic timing and synchronization. In the first year after reintroduction, it took 18, 14, and 5 days to achieve 0 ? 25%, 25% ? 50%, and 50% ? 75% of the delivery rate, respectively. The relocation stage, it took 41, 19, and 11 days to achieve the rate of synchronization 0 ? 25%, 25% ? 50% to 50% ? 75%, respectively. In the re-expanding population stage, it took 45, 10, and 9 days to achieve the rate of synchronization 0 ? 25%, 25% ? 50% to 50% ? 75%, respectively. In the restoration phase, it took 24, 20, and 11 days to achieve the rate of synchronization 0 ? 25%, 25% ? 50% to 50% ? 75%, respectively.(3) Cumulative light and accumulated temperature had significant effects on the birth initiation of Père David’s deer but had no relationship with the birth synchronization. The delivery began when the accumulated temperature reached (2748.34 ± 157.69) ℃ and the accumulated light reached (3684.77 ± 514.26) h. (4) There was a correlation between the peak period of birth and aboveground biomass per unit area of reintroduced land. Judging by the rhythm of birth data, the new population has adapted to the climate of the reintroduction site. The number of non-synchronous birth individuals increased annually, but the total span of the delivery period did not extend. Since 1997, the population has had a 30% non-synchronous delivery average year. Therefore, analysis based on birth data reveals that after 37 years of reintroduction, the new population has recovered its adaptation to the habitation where it went extinct 120 years ago.

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    The first image record of Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx) in Yunnan Province
    Guangxu HUANG, Junjie LI, Yinlei DU, Wen ZHANG, Zhipang HUANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 471-474.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150640
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    In China, Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is mainly distributed in the northeast, north, northwest, and southwest regions. It is one of the second-class national key protected wild animals and is listed as an Endangered species in the Red List of Vertebrates in China. Historically, there was some evidence that Eurasian lynx occurred in Yunnan Province, such as skins, skulls, and community interviews, while there was no field photographic evidence. In order to carry out a survey of animal diversity in Diqing Prefecture, Yunnan, China for the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program, we set 24 camera traps in Geza Township, Shangri-La City, from August 10, 2020, to September 14, 2021. On February 28, 2021, a video image of a Eurasian lynx was recorded by camera traps in Geza Township, Shangri-La City, Diqing Prefecture, Yunnan. This is the first video image record of a wild Eurasian lynx in Yunnan Province, confirming the species’ presence in Yunnan, which provides the basic data for the distribution of lynx in China.

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    Research advance and perspective on mammalogy in Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Jianghui BIAN, Dehua WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 477-481.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150718
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    The year 2022 marks the 60th anniversary (1962?2022) of the establishment of Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology (NWIPB), Chinese Academy of Sciences. The mammalogy research of NWIPB has also gone through the course of 60 years, which has experienced the continuous development and expansion process from nothing to nothing. Over the past 60 years, the research in mammalogy at NWIPB has always been based on the Qinghai?Tibet Plateau, based on basic research and basic application research. To meet the needs of the state, serve for the regional economy and ecological protection, a large number of corresponding work has been carried out on mammalogy, a large number of scientific and technological talents have been cultivated, several academic publictions have been published by NWIPB,which has made a significant contribution to the development of mammalogy and mammalogy ecology.

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    Research advances in conservation genetics and genomics of snow leopard ( Panthera uncia)
    Yubo HAO, Hong JIN, Lin YANG, Kexin LI, Yibo HU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 508-518.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150687
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    The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) (Carnivora, Felidae, Panthera) is a flagship species distributed in the Qinghai?Tibet Plateau and surrounding regions. With the development of molecular biology and high-throughput sequencing technology, snow leopard conservation genetics and conservation genomics have developed rapidly. Noninvasive genetic sampling has provided genetic samples and facilitated the conservation genetics research of snow leopards. In this review, we summarize the application of noninvasive genetic sampling in species identification, individual identification and sex determination of snow leopards, the phylogenetic status, phylogeographic pattern, population genetic structure, and subspecies controversies in snow leopards. Furthermore, the evolutionary history, adaptive evolution, and genome characteristics of snow leopards are reviewed. Finally, we discuss the future development trends of snow leopard conservation genetics and genomics, aiming to better promote snow leopard conservation biology research and science-based conservation decisions.

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    The utilization of wildlife passages by migratory Tibetan antelope in Sanjiangyuan National Park: a case study of Wubei Bridge of Qinghai‒Tibet Railway
    gaowa Saiqing, Hongqi LI, Dong WANG, Zihan WANG, Xinming LIAN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 601-608.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150670
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    The Qinghai?Tibet Railway (QTR) crosses the migration routes of the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) in the Sanjiangyuan National Park (SNP) and the female antelopes have to cross the QTR by wildlife passages to continue their migrations. In this study, a remote monitoring camera was set up near the Wubei Bridge to record the utilization of the bridge by migratory antelopes. Based on the monitoring data of the returning migration period from July to September 2019 and the calving migration period from April to June 2020, the results showed that: Tibetan antelopes crossed the Wubei Bridge mainly in the daytime and mostly in the morning. The peaks during the calving migration and the returning migration were in 09: 00?12: 59 and 11: 00?11: 59 respectively. Compared with the returning migration period, female antelopes gathered into smaller groups during the calving migration period, which was related to the sequence of roads to be crossed and the lower predation risk of calves in larger groups. We found individuals in larger groups spent less time crossing the Wubei Bridge. Larger groups could accelerate crossing speed and then reduce the average crossing time of individuals. However, there was no significant difference in the average crossing time of individuals between the two migratory periods, indicating that the presence of calves had little effect on the speed and time of antelope groups. In conclusion, there was a significant difference in the group size of Tibetan antelope between the returning and calving migration periods and the group size affected the average crossing time of individuals. We also detected a temporal pattern in the use of wildlife passage by Tibetan antelope.

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    Status of human-Asiatic black bear conflicts in surrounding communities of Baoshan area in Yunnan Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve
    Yunrui JI, Liushuan ZHANG, Xiangyuan HUANG, Jianyan TANG, Zengshuai LIU, Jiahua LI, Weichun YANG, Diqiang LI, Fang LIU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 387-397.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150623
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    Conflicts between Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and humans are widespread in Asia. In the surrounding communities of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve (GLGNR), conflicts between human and Asiatic black bear have seriously threatened the livelihood and safety of residents, thus studying the patterns of human?Asiatic black bear conflicts is the basis for understanding the underlying mechanism of conflicts and proposing mitigation measures. In 2019, we conducted a semi-structured interview survey on human?Asiatic black bear conflicts in the surrounding communities of Baoshan area of GLGNR. The results showed that crop raiding (n = 199 events) was the most common damage caused by Asiatic black bears reported by interviewees based on occurrence frequency, followed by livestock depredation (n = 43), beehives damage (n = 40), and attacking human (n = 5). However, predation of livestock by Asiatic black bear caused the largest economic losses (799 200 RMB), followed by crop damages (309 300 RMB) and beehive damages (298 790 RMB). These conflicts mainly occurred from June to August. The characteristics of human-Asiatic black bear conflicts varied between the eastern and western Gaoligong Mountains. In the eastern area of GLGNR, crop-raiding was the major type of human-Asiatic black bear conflicts, while damage to beehives was the most serious conflict type in the western area. In addition, residents living in the western Gaoligong Mountains had a more negative attitudes towards Asiatic black bears than villagers in the eastern area. However, we found that neither negative attitudes nor occurrence of bear damages led to retaliatory killing of bears by local villagers. Moreover, 72.0% of the interviewees in the surrounding communities in GLGNR reported that they had never heard of the poaching of Asiatic black bears in the local area, while 98.6% of them never heard about bear products trade. Additionally, they had no willingness to use bear products in the future. We analyzed the current situation of human?Asiatic black bear conflicts in the surrounding communities of Baoshan area of GLGNR, and explored the spatial and temporal patterns of human?Asiatic black bear conflicts. Our study provides a scientific basis for future work on mitigation and management of human?Asiatic black bear conflicts in Gaoligongshan Mountains.

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    Habitat suitability evaluation of snow leopard ( Panthera uncia ) in the Qilian Mountain National Park ( Qinghai area) , China
    Zhanlei RONG, Yayue GAO, Shengyun CHEN, Tongzuo ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 553-562.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150545
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    Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is a flagship species for global biodiversity conservation. Accurate assessment of snow leopard habitat quality can provide scientific reference for population conservation. In this study, we assess the habitat suitability of snow leopards in the Qilian Mountain National Park (Qinghai area) using landscape connectivity analyses and MaxEnt model. The main environmental factors such as topography, climate, landcover type, and human disturbance were selected. The results showed that highly suitable habitat was mainly distributed in the west and middle of the study area, which comprisesand 71.8% ? 77.5% of the Qinghai area. The overlap area of the suitable habitat predicted by the two methods was 8 979.1 km2, representing 56.7% of the Qinghai area. The suitable habitat accounts for 39.8% ? 43.3% of the general control area and 56.7% ? 60.2% of the core reserve. The maximum area of suitable habitat is distributed in the Shule River Basin and the minimal area is distributed in the Shiyang River Basin. The highest proportion of suitable habitat is located in the Heihe River Basin, which was about 77.1% ? 91.8%. The suitable habitat showed an increasing trend from east to west and we detected a large area of snow leopard habitat in the general control area. Human activities will be a potential threat to the snow leopard habitat in the general control area. This study provides a scientific reference for optimizing in situ protection measures for snow leopards.

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    Physiological Ecology of Small Mammals in Qinghai‒Tibetan Plateau: from individual to ecosystem
    Dehua WANG, Zuwang WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 482-489.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150722
    Abstract568)   HTML10)    PDF (1404KB)(320)       Save

    We reviewed the development and advances in physiological ecology of small mammals on the Qinghai?Tibetan Plateau, including the characteristics of energy metabolism and physiological adaptation the environment, adaptive thermogenesis and thermoregulation, energy balance and body weight regulation, physiological limits, populations energy flow, and recent advances in some new areas, such as using double-labeled water method to measure energy expenditure in free?living animals, geographic physiology, physiological function of gut microbiota, plant secondary metabolites and their physiological functions, and population physiology. Several works such as ecological energetics, adaptive thermogenesis, and physiological adaptation have been leading the development of animal physiological ecology in China. We also proposed some possible directions and areas for development and enhancement in physiological ecology for alpine small mammals in the future in order to establish and enrich the discipline of Physiological Ecology of Small Mammals on the Qinghai?Tibetan Plateau.

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    Risk of transmission and infection of gastrointestinal parasites in the Tibetan antelope ( Pantholops hodgsonii) aggregation
    Yifan CAO, Guozhen SHANG, Wenjing LI, Yuangang YANG, Tong WU, Yahui ZHU, Jianghui BIAN, Ruiqiang ZHANG, Tongzuo ZHANG, Xinquan ZHAO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 563-571.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150556
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    Herbivores aggregation is beneficial to reduce the predation risk but it can also increase the transmission and infection risk of parasites. Zhuonai Lake, located in Hoh Xil, Qinghai Province, an important calving ground of Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii). The aggregating time of Tibetan antelope in Zhuonai Lake area is mainly concentrated from early June to July (less than 30 days).Climate factors such as temperature and humidity in this region might have an important impact on the development of parasite eggs/oocysts in the host’s feces. In this study, a microclimate observer was constructed in the calving ground of Zhuonai Lake to collect local meteorological data on June 9th, 2018. In this area, fresh feces of Tibetan antelope were collected and placed outdoors for 0, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 days, and nearly one year (300 days). We used the flotation technique to detect the development status of eggs/oocysts in different periods within 35 days and the species of surviving larvae in the feces placed outdoors for nearly one year. Our aim was to preliminarily test the development, hatching, and overwintering survival of the dominant parasite eggs/oocysts in the feces of aggregated Tibetan antelope in the Zhuonai Lake area and evaluate whether the calving ground increases the risk of gastrointestinal parasite transmission and infection in Tibetan antelope. The results showed that: (1) between June 9 and July 16, the 35 days average temperature was 5℃ and the average relative humidity was 81%. (2) During the aggregating period of Tibetan antelope in Zhuonai Lake area (less than 30 days), the dominant parasite eggs/oocysts in the feces did not develop to the infective stage (Third larvae stage). For example, dominant nematode eggs, including Trichostrongylus sp., Marshallagia sp., and Nematodirus sp., only developed to the first larvae stage within 30 days. Additionally, the sporulation rates of dominant coccidian species Eimeria pantholopensis and E. wudaoliangensis were 0, 18.9 %, 54.0 % and 0, 13.5 %, 30.4 % on the 25th days, 30th days, and 35th days, respectively. (3) Few parasite eggs survived over the winter until the next year. Only a few larvae of the Marshallagia sp. and Nematodirus sp. were found in feces which were placed for nearly one year to survive over the winter in the calving ground of Zhuonai Lake. This study suggests that the risk of gastrointestinal parasite transmission and infection was low during the aggregating period of Tibetan antelope in Zhuonai Lake area. Short-term utilization of calving ground and rapid back-migration were important behavioral strategies for Tibetan antelope to avoid increasing the risk of gastrointestinal parasitic infection. Furthermore, the climate environment such as low temperature was beneficial to the natural purification of parasites.

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    Effects of captivity on the assembly process of microbiota communities of plateau pikas
    Liangzhi ZHANG, Xianjiang TANG, Shien Ren, Yaqi ZHAO, Yanming ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 519-530.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150721
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    Revealing the community assembly process is helpful to better understand the mechanism of biodiversity generation and maintenance, which has been an emerging topic in microbial community ecology in recent years. Studies have shown that captivity can cause drastic changes in the composition and diversity of intestinal microbiotas, however, whether captivity can alter the assembly processes of gut bacterial communities in plateau pikas is still unknown. Here, we employed 16S rRNA gene-based large-scale structural profiling to explore the effect of captivity and breeding status on the gut microbial composition, diversity, functions, and assembly processes in plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae). The results showed that the community richness and community coverage index of captivity animals were significantly lower than those of wild groups. For the wild groups, the indexes were significantly higher in non-breeding groups than those of breeding groups. The relative abundance of Bacteroidetes was significantly higher in the captivity group than that of the wild groups, while the relative abundance of Firmicutes and Planctomycetes were significantly higher in wild groups than those of the captivity group. For the wild groups, the richness of Epsilonbacteraeota and Tenericutes were higher in the breeding period group than those of the non-breeding group. The results of functional prediction revealed that the abundance of genes involved in cardiovascular disease and cell communication were significantly different between captivity and wild breeding groups. The abundance of genes involved in the pathway of amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and lipid metabolism enriched in non-breeding groups compared with breeding groups. The results of neutral model revealed that captivity reduced the importance of stochastic processes in governing the bacterial community assembly, while breeding status increased the importance of stochastic processes in structuring the community assembly. Our results provided new insights on the effects of captivity on the microbial composition, diversity, function, and assembly processes and the interactions between microbiotas and physiological state of plateau pika, which provided a new theoretical basis to promote the possibility of successful reproduction in laboratory.

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    Giant panda pose estimation method based on high resolution net
    Yu QI, Han SU, Rong HOU, Peng LIU, Peng CHEN, Hangxing ZANG, Zhihe ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 451-460.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150639
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    Long-term behavioral monitoring of captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) can help animal managers better understand the panda’s physiological cycle and health status in a timely manner, and help breeding facilities quickly take corresponding husbandry actions to improve breeding management. At present, neither animal managers nor scientists can monitor giant pandas 24 hours a day and obtain corresponding behavioral information on time. Accurate animal pose estimation is an important factor in animal behavior research and is also the basis for many downstream applications. Understanding the pose of giant pandas can greatly promote the research of panda behavior and improve its conservation and management. In order to improve the accuracy of giant panda pose estimation in complex environments, this paper proposed a pose estimation method based on the high-resolution network HRNet-32. To solve the problem of large-scale differences in different parts of the giant pandas, an atrous spatial pyramid pooling module was introduced in HRNet-32, which used dilated convolution with different dilated rates to form a similar pyramid form, so as to capture multi-scale information while enhancing the feature’s receptive field. Meanwhile, the giant panda pose estimation was regarded as a homogeneous multi-task learning problem, the joint points of the giant panda were grouped, and the part-based multi-branch structure was introduced to learn the representations specific to each part group. The results of several comparison experiments show that the model proposed in this paper, PCK@0.05, had a high detection accuracy (81.51%). The method proposed in this paper can provide technical support for the behavioral analysis and health assessment of giant pandas.

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    Camera-trapping survey on large and medium-sized mammal diversity in the Xiaoxiangling Mountains
    Hong CHEN, Shengnan JI, Kan ZHANG, Dayong WANG, Jie HU, Yanhong LI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 461-470.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150611
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    Regional species diversity monitoring and assessment are an important basis for the design of conservation and management strategies. To assess the status of large and medium-sized mammal diversity in the Xiaoxiangling Mountains, a baseline survey using infrared camera traps was conducted in Sichuan Yele Provincial Nature Reserve (YLPNR), Sichuan Liziping National Nature Reserve (LZPNNR), and their adjacent areas from January 2018 to November 2020. In total, 86 grids (1 km × 1 km each) were selected for monitoring according to habitat type and landform features, with one camera placed in each grid. A total of 19 982 camera-days of data, including 3 304 independent photos, were collected, and 18 mammal species belonging to 4 orders and 12 families were identified. Among them, 3 species are listed as first-class National Key Protected wildlife (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Moschus berezovskii and Catopuma temminckii), and 10 species are listed as second-class National Key Protected Wildlife, including Ursus thibetanus, Ailurus styani, and Rusa unicolor. Rusa unicolor is a new record in this area. The five species with the highest relative abundance index are Elaphodus cephalophus, Capricornis milneedwardsii, Sus scrofa, Martes flavigula and Arctonyx collaris. Due to differences in area size and altitudinal range, there are some differences in the composition and relative abundance of large and medium?sized mammals between YLPNR and LZPNNR. In addition, grazing is the main human disturbance in the two reserves of the Xiaoxiangling Mountains. We suggest that the nature reserve authorities should strengthen management to minimize the impact of grazing on wildlife.

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    Research advances in conservation and management of endangered mammals on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Tongzuo ZHANG, Feng JIANG, Bo XU, Bin LI, Chengbo LIANG, Haifeng GU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 490-507.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150696
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    The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is a global biodiversity hotspot and a priority area for conservation.It hosts a variety of key protected and endemic wildlife species, contributing to a high level of species richness and a large proportion of endangered species. We reviewed the research advances in the conservation and management of 7 fauna groups on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (ungulates, felids, ursids, canids, mustelids, chiropterans, and other small mammals) from the perspectives of the endangered status, threatening causes, strategies and effects of conservation and management. The proportion of endemic species of ungulates was much higher than that of the other 6 groups. 81% ? 100% of ungulate, felid, ursid, and canid species were listed as the national key protected wildlife. 45% to 100% of ungulate, felid, and ursid species were listed as threatened by the Red List of China’s Vertebrates or Red List of IUCN, which is far higher than the global average. Habitat fragmentation, global warming, overgrazing, poaching and illegal trade, and environmental pollution were the major threats to the survival of endangered mammals on the QTP. The implementation of relevant laws and policies, the construction of nature reserves, as well as the carrying out of a large number of investigations, monitoring, and researches have provided legal guarantees and scientific basis for the conservation and management of endangered mammals on the QTP. In view of the limitations of current conservation and management, we suggest building a comprehensive and systematic big data platform, so as to conduct rapid assessment of conservation effectiveness on the QTP and research on spatial optimization of protected areas. We also suggest combining internationally advanced interdisciplinary theoretical methods and practical innovation to provide guidance and suggestions for the protection and management of endangered mammals, so as to provide important scientific and technical support for the biodiversity conservation and ecological civilization construction of China.

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    Effects of hibernation on cecal microbiota in Daurian ground squirrel
    Min MAO, Ming YANG, Xinyu LIU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 420-431.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150622
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    The diversity and composition of gut microbiota in hibernating mammals are affected by seasonal changes and fasting during hibernation. In order to examine the seasonal changes of the cecal microbiota of Daurian ground squirrel (Spermophilus dauricus), we analyzed the diversity, composition, and function of cecal microbiota from six groups of fattening stage (Initial fattening, Rapid fattening, Finished fattening) and hibernation stage (Early hibernation, Late hibernation, Arousal) using 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing technology. In addition, the relationship between physiological characteristics and the composition and function of cecal microbiota was explored by redundancy analysis (RDA). The cecal microbiota was mainly composed of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Verrucomicrobia. Compared with other periods, the relative abundance of Firmicutes decreased and that of Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia increased in Early hibernation. The Chao1 and ACE indices in Initial fattening, Rapid fattening, and Early hibernation were significantly lower than those in the Arousal, and the Simpson index in Finish fattening was significantly lower than that in Rapid fattening (P < 0.05) calculated by alpha diversity. Significant seasonal clustering of the cecal microbiota was found through the principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) of the weighted and unweighted UniFrac distance matrix. The butanoate metabolism and other metabolic pathways were enriched in fattening stage, and nitrogen metabolism and other related pathways were concentrated in hibernation stage as shown by PICRUSt analysis. The physiological characteristics at different stages were significantly correlated with the composition and function of cecal microbiota. In conclusion, it is indicated that hibernation profoundly affects the diversity and relative abundance of cecal microbiota. The changes in the composition and function of cecal microbiota play an important role in regulating the physiological metabolism, which can help Daurian ground squirrel adapt to seasonal environmental changes.

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    Association between personality and SERT gene polymorphisms in plateau pikas ( Ochotona curzoniae) at different altitudes
    Hongjuan ZHU, Jing LI, Suqin WANG, Qi TANG, Xianyong LAN, Jiapeng QU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 540-552.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150702
    Abstract542)   HTML6)    PDF (3665KB)(267)       Save

    Given the stable and heritable individual differences in animal behaviors, personality is associated with the polymorphisms of related genes and reflects the adaptation patterns of animals to variable environments. Exploring the variations in personality-related genes will contribute to the improved understanding of the evolutionary and adaptation mechanisms of animals’ response to environments. In this study, we used plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) inhabiting five altitudinal regions of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau as study objects to determine their personality variations, explore the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of serotonin transporter (SERT) and personality, and obtain the expression level of the SERT gene. Results showed that the exploration and boldness of pikas at high altitudes were significantly higher than those at low altitudes, whereas the expression level of SERT at high altitudes was significantly lower than that at low altitudes, suggesting that the personality of pikas in different altitudes might be correlated with the mRNA expression of the SERT gene. Furthermore, SERT gene polymorphisms and their distribution differences among different altitudes were detected. Six SNP mutations were detected in the SERT gene (5 and 1 SNP mutations were located in exons 3 and 5, respectively). Significant correlations between c.A1063C synonymous mutation in exon 5 and altitudes were observed, suggesting that the distribution frequencies of the CC genotype of c.A1063C at high altitudes were significantly higher than those at low altitudes. No significant correlation between c.A1063C genotypes and exploration or boldness was observed, whereas significant correlations between c.A1063C genotypes and docility were detected. Our results suggested that with increasing altitude, the exploration and boldness of plateau pikas increased for food resource and survival opportunities to adapt to environments at different altitudes and that the difference in docility might be related to the synonymous mutation of exon 5 of the SERT gene c.A1063C. This study attempted to elaborate on the differences in personality of plateau pikas adapted to different altitudes from the perspective of gene expression and mutation, providing the potential molecular mechanism of plateau pika’s behavioral strategies at different altitudes.

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    Genetic diversity and demographic history of Siberian flying squirrel ( Pteromys volans) population in northern Zhangguangcai Mountains, Heilongjiang, China
    Xinmin TIAN, Mingdong LIAN, Yaqi SONG, Xiaohui LIU, Mengping YANG, Hong CHEN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 398-409.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150629
    Abstract527)   HTML10)    PDF (3369KB)(455)       Save

    The Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) is an arboreal, nocturnal, and gliding rodent. It plays an important role in forest seed dispersal and ecosystem balance maintenance. We used three molecular markers, namely mtDNA Cytb, control region, and nDNA microsatellites, to conduct genetic diversity and demographic history analyses of the flying squirrel population in the north Zhangguangcai Mountains, Heilongjiang Province. The mean haplotype diversity based on the complete sequence of Cyt b gene (1 140 bp) was 0.909 and the mean nucleotide diversity was 0.616%. The mean haplotype diversity based on the complete sequence of the control region (1 066 bp) was 0.945 and the mean haplotype diversity was 1.698%. The mean number of alleles in the population detected by 12 microsatellite loci was 13.167, the observed heterozygosity was 0.727, the expected heterozygosity was 0.864 and the inbreeding coefficient was 0.159. Our results indicated a high level of genetic diversity in the flying squirrel population, but low heterozygosity and some level of inbreeding. No evidence of population genetic bottleneck or within-population genetic differentiation was found. However, high proportion of rare haplotypes (≥ 60%), low frequency of alleles, and inbreeding indicate a risk of declining genetic diversity in the Siberian flying squirrel population in the future. It is suggested that conservation efforts for Siberian flying squirrels in this region should be improved. The phylogenetic relationship of Cyt b haplotypes confirmed that there are three major lineages of Siberian flying squirrel occupying the Far Eastern, northern Eurasia, and the island of Hokkaido. The haplotypes of Zhangguangcai and Daxing’an Mountains in this study are part of the lineage Far Eastern.

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    Expression analysis of gap junction protein 40 in lung of plateau pika exposed to hypoxia
    Xuze ZHANG, Lin FU, Xiaoyan ZOU, Yurong DU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 572-578.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150686
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    Blunted hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction response is a major adaptation to hypoxia in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae). However, the genes involved in this physiological compensation remained unclear. In the present study, plateau pikas and Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were challenged with a hypoxia condition simulating an altitude of 5 000 m for 28 days. Morphological structure analysis by immunohistochemistry was carried out for the pulmonary in both species and the expression levels of Connexin40 (Cx40), a member of the Connexon family expressed in pulmonary vascular endothelia in mammals, were determined by both qPCR and Western blot. The results showed that upon hypoxia challenge the alveoli of plateau pika appeared to be vacuolated sacs. Cx40 expression was detected in both bronchi and pulmonary blood vessels in both species. In plateau pikas, mRNA level of Cx40 increased after hypoxia challenge, while its protein level decreased. In contrast, protein levels of Cx40 had no significant change with prolonged hypoxia exposure in pulmonary blood vessels of SD rats. No significant change in the Cx40 protein in the lung bronchi was observed in both species. Our results indicate that with hypoxia exposure, pulmonary vasoconstriction response in plateau pikas could be suppressed by down-regulation of Cx40, contributing to their adaptation to a hypoxic environment on the plateau. Our results can provide a reference for the expression analysis of gap junction proteins in the lungs of indigenous animals living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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    Research progress of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer in wild animals
    Shigang GU, Yanhui ZHAI, Chao XU, Dawei YU, Zhiqiang HAN, Quanmin ZHAO, Xiangpeng DAI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 442-450.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150642
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    Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) is one of the most promising research directions in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). It has a wide application in the production of transgenic animals, the breeding of improved varieties, the protection of endangered animals, the regeneration of extinct species, as well as the breeding of wildlife and the protection of biodiversity. In this article, we review the research progress and technical barriers of interspecific nuclear transfer technology in cats, canines, bovids, swine and peccaries, and provide theoretical and technical guidance for further improvement of utilization of iSCNT technology in wild animal reproduction, breeding and diversity protection.

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    The effects of affiliative relationship on aggressive behavior in Tibetan macaques
    Tong ZHANG, Xi WANG, Qixin ZHANG, Jinhua LI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 370-378.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150644
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    Affiliative and agonistic behaviors determine the social structure and its systems in animal groups, which are manifested as differences in proximity between individuals. However, it is unclear whether differences in affinity affect the intensity of conflict and aggression. Thus, we conducted a study on one group of Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana, Yulinkeng, YA1) from September 2020 to May 2021 in Anhui, China. We used focal animal and behavioral sampling methods to record the proximity, grooming, and aggressive behavior of macaques. We correlated the proximity and grooming with aggressive behavior of those matrices, and ran GLMM models to explore the factors that might affect aggressive interaction among individuals. The results showed that the greater the proximity index was, the longer the grooming duration between group individuals had. The matrix based on the proximity index was positively correlated with the total number of aggression, the number of mild aggression, and the number of intense aggression. Individuals with closer affiliative relationships had more often and more heavily aggression towards each other. When comparing differences between sex, we found the frequency and intensity of aggression among females were less than among males. These results suggest that the close proximity could increase the likelihood of grooming and aggression between macaques and that the social relationship between females is more stable. We did not find that the macaques adjust the intensity of aggression according to their affinity. This study provided theoretical support for understanding the social relationship and social structure of multi-male and multi-female Tibetan macaques.

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    Effects of hypobaric hypoxia on spermatogenesis and the expression of small RNA in mice
    Shuang LI, Gongxue JIA, Haiping TAO, Yujun WANG, Binye LI, Qien YANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 579-589.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150649
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    As the most crucial environmental factors, low atmospheric pressure and low oxygen content have adverse effects on the reproductive system of non-adapted animals living in the Qinghai?Tibet Plateau. Compelling evidence has shown that hypoxia exposure caused increased germ cell apoptosis and lower sperm quality, leading to defects in fertilization and preimplantation embryo development. Currently, how hypoxia affects testicular gene expression and sperm function is not well-understood. small RNA regulates gene expression at the post-transcriptional and translational level and participates in spermatogenesis by inducing gene silencing or transcription. In this study, a hypoxia mouse model was established by simulating the environment at an altitude of 5 000 m in a hypobaric oxygen chamber for 4 weeks. The results showed that the germ cells within seminiferous tubules of hypoxic mice were arranged disorderly. Although the total number of sperm did not change significantly, the proportion of abnormal sperm had a 17.5 fold increase in Hypo-4W animals (P < 0.001). small RNA sequencing revealed that the number of small RNAs with a length of 21 nt in hypoxic mouse sperm was reduced by 4.4% (P < 0.05), and the first base had a strong preference for Uracil (U). There were no significant differences in piRNA and tsRNA in sperm of control and hypoxia exposed animals, however, 21 miRNAs were up-regulated and 58 were down-regulated. Furthermore, we analyzed the target genes of these miRNAs and differentially expressed genes in the hypoxia-treated testicular tissues of mice. The results showed that 429 target genes of up-regulated miRNAs and 813 target genes of down-regulated miRNAs were differentially expressed. Finally, enrichment analysis revealed that the target genes of up-regulated miRNAs were enriched in FoxO signaling pathway, thyroid hormone signaling pathway, steroid biosynthesis and HIF-1 signaling pathway, while the targets of down-regulated miRNAs were enriched in fatty acid metabolism. In summary, the miRNA expression dynamics of hypoxic mouse sperm obtained in the present study provides an important reference value for further dissecting changes in sperm epigenome in humans and other animals under hypoxic environment.

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    Expression of MTNR1a and MTNR1b genes on HPG axis of male plateau zokor during the breeding and the non‑breeding seasons
    Kang AN, Mingfang BAO, Baohui YAO, Yukun KANG, Yuchen TAN, Yanli WANG, Junhu SU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 410-419.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150605
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    The plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi) is an endemic subterranean rodent species with limited exposure light. Previous study has shown seasonal differences in levels of melatonin secretion in plateau zokors. However, the expression pattern of melatonin receptor genes on hypothalamic?pituitary?gonadal (HPG) axis is not clear. In this study, q–PCR was employed to detect the relative expression levels of genes mRNA of melatonin receptor 1a (MTNR1a) and melatonin receptor 1b (MTNR1b) in hypothalamus, pituitary, and testis of male plateau zokors during the breeding (May) and non?breeding seasons (September). The location of MTNR1a and MTNR1b in testis was determined by immunohistochemical technology, and immunohistochemical positive evaluation was conducted in Image Pro Plus software. The results showed that the relative expression levels of MTNR1a in hypothalamus and pituitary were significantly higher during the breeding season (P < 0.05), while there was no significant difference in the relative expression levels of MTNR1b in different seasons (P > 0.05). The relative expression levels of MTNR1a and MTNR1b in testis during the non?breeding season were higher than that during the breeding season (P < 0.01). The positive signal of MTNR1a in testis was observed in all types of cells except elongated spermatid during the breeding season and in Leydig cells, Sertoli cells, and spermatogonia during the non?breeding season. The positive signal of MTNR1b in testis was observed in all types of cells except spermatogonia and elongated spermatid during the breeding season and in Leydig cells and Sertoli cells during the non?breeding season. The average optical density values of immunopositive signals in MTNR1a and MTNR1b during the non?breeding season were significantly higher compared with the breeding season (P < 0.01). The expression patterns of MTNR1a and MTNR1b on the HPG axis of male plateau zokor during the breeding and the non?breeding seasons revealed the potential role of melatonin in seasonal reproduction regulation.

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    Genetic diversity of male specific region of Y chromosome in Tibetan antelope
    Ruotong CHENG, Yibo CHEN, Xiangqiong MENG, Jiarui CHEN, Qing WEI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 609-614.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150688
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    Genetic diversity is an important indicator of population health, especially for assessing population recovery of endangered species. To characterize the genetic diversity of Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) populations, we used muscle and placental tissues from accidentally killed Tibetan antelopes in Qinghai and Xinjiang and screened 11 Tibetan antelope Y-SNP-specific loci from 30 published polymorphic Y-SNP loci in bovids, of which AMELY3 (g.723 C > T) and SRYOY1 (g.167 G > A) 2 pairs of primers were polymorphic. Based on the AMELY3 locus, the haplotype diversity of Tibetan antelope Y chromosome was 0.048 ± 0.045 and the nucleotide polymorphism was 0.00006 ± 0.00005. According to the SRYOY1 locus, Tibetan antelope was divided into two haplotypes, of which H1 (g.167 G) was the dominant haplotype. Maximum likelihood tree suggests that Tibetan antelope might have two paternal origins. The haplotype diversity of Tibetan antelope Y chromosome was 0.439 ± 0.050 and the nucleotide polymorphism was 0.0008 ± 0.0004. The genetic differentiation index showed that the FST value between the male population of Tibetan antelope in Qinghai and Xinjiang was 0.6846 ± 0.0389, suggesting a strong population genetic differentiation. Therefore, integrated conservation across regions and research on sex chromosomes need more attention in the future conservation of Tibetan antelope.

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    Fecal microbiota diversity analysis of the diarrheal sub-adult Qaidam horses and biomarkers screening
    Xiaoqi WANG, Wenjing HAO, Zhichao ZHANG, Jing HAN, Rujing WANG, Ziyuan DUAN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 432-441.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150637
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    The study aims to compare the difference in diversity and composition of fecal microbiota between healthy and diarrheal sub-adult Qaidam horses. We analyzed feces of healthy (n = 13) and diarrheal (n = 3) sub-adult Qaidam horses based on 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing, and determined the absolute abundance of related differential bacteria genera by real-time qPCR. The results indicated that Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Proteobacteria and Spirochaetes were the dominant phyla in feces from both healthy and diarrheal Qaidam horses. Compared to healthy Qaidam horses, the fecal microbial Alpha diversity was significantly lower (P < 0.05), the relative abundance of Firmicutes was relatively lower (P < 0.05), and the ralative abundance of Proteobacteria was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in diarrheal Qaidam horses. It was then deduced that the dysbiosis of these two phyla (Clostridium, Prevotella, Fibrobacter, etc.) in microecology might play an important role in Qaidam horses’ diarrhea. Additionally, 12 biomarkers (feature genera), such as Methanobrevibacter, Fibrobacter, Paludibacter, Carnobacterium and Elusimicrobium, which had significant influence on the difference of fecal bacteria composition between the two groups, were screened by a machine learning algorithm (random forest). The study compared the characteristics of fecal microbial changes in healthy and diarrheal Qaidam horses and provided a data basis for the diarrhea of livestock in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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    Effects of hypoxia stress on liver function and gene expression in mice
    Haiping TAO, Shuang LI, Gongxue JIA, Luyao ZHANG, Yougui FANG, Yongwei CHEN, Qien YANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 590-600.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150697
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    As one of the most characteristic environmental factors on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, hypoxia has a profound impact on the adaptive evolution of plateau animals. Continued exposure to a hypoxic environment causes metabolic dysfunction of the body. In non-acclimated animals, long-term hypoxia exposure affects liver function, but there is still a lack of knowledge regarding its effect on offspring liver. In this study, adult mice were transferred to a high altitude hypoxic environment (altitude 3 220 m) for breeding. Mice reared under normoxic conditions were used as a control and the growth and live function of hypoxic-treated mice (hypoxic generation 0) and their offspring (hypoxic generation 1 ? generation 5) were evaluated.The results showed that long-term hypoxia exposure led to morphological and functional changes in the liver. Hepatocytes of hypoxia-exposed animals were swollen, caused by red blood cells infiltrating between hepatic cords. Specifically, the fatty degeneration appeared in the liver lobules of hypoxic generation 1 mice. Blood biochemical analyses showed that compared with the normoxia generation 0, the levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase in hypoxia generation 0 and hypoxia generation 1 increased significantly (P < 0.05).Albumin, globulin, total bilirubin and total cholesterol levels decreased in hypoxia generation 0 and increase in hypoxia generation 1 (P < 0.05). After fasting injection of glucose and insulin, the glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity of mice in the hypoxic group were greatly reduced (P < 0.05). RNA-seq analysis of liver tissue from normoxic generation 0, hypoxic generation 0, and hypoxic generation 1 identified 459 differential expression genes (DEGs) in livers of hypoxia-exposed animals. These genes were significantly enriched in the MAPK signaling pathway, apoptosis, lipid metabolism, and endoplasmic reticulum pathway. This study demonstrated that hypoxic exposure has important effects on the liver in mice and the outcomes of these findings provide information to further elucidate the physiological and pathological changes induced by hypoxia at high altitudes.

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