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    Comparative analysis of gut microbial composition and functions of forest musk deer in different breeding centres
    Feng JIANG, Pengfei SONG, Jingjie ZHANG, Hongmei GAO, Haijing WANG, Zhenyuan CAI, Daoxin LIU, Tongzuo ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 129-140.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150701
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    Intestinal diseases are common in the breeding of forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii, FMD). Gut microbiota has evolved with the host and formed a complex microecosystem with the gastrointestinal tract of animals. To compare the effects of different breeding environments on gut microbial composition and functions of captive FMD, a total of 215 fresh feces samples were collected from 5 different breeding centres in China, and a 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing was performed. The differences in gut microbial composition, diversity, and functions of FMD from different breeding centres were analyzed. The results showed that Firmicutes and Bacteroides were the absolute dominant bacteria phyla in the gut microbiota of FMD fed without compound probiotics from Qilian County, while Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were the absolute dominant bacteria in the gut microbiota of FMD fed with compound probiotics from Liangdang County and Feng County. The composition, dominant bacteria phyla, dominant bacteria genera, potential pathogenic bacteria, metabolism-related, and disease-related functions of gut microbiota in FMD from different breeding centres were significantly different. The α diversity and disease-related function enrichment of gut microbiota in FMD from Qilian were significantly lower than those from other breeding centres, and enterotype 2 was dominant, with Firmicutes, UCG-005, and Bacteroides as the marker bacteria. The relative abundance of potential pathogenic bacteria of gut microbiota in FMD from Liangdang and Feng Counties was low. We speculated that the difference in food composition might be the main factor leading to the difference in the gut microbiota of FMD from different breeding centres, and the use of compound probiotics might be an important factor leading to the decrease of α diversity and potential pathogenic bacteria. The results of this study can provide a scientific basis for the artificial breeding management of FMD, and also have certain significance for the assessment of the artificial breeding environment and the plan of reintroduction in the future.

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    Advances and prospects of the gut microbiome in non-human primate
    Qiuyan GUO, Xiao WEI, Meijing LU, Penglai FAN, Qihai ZHOU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (1): 69-81.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150669
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    The gut microbiome is the second set of animal genomes and interacts with hosts in development, nutrition metabolism, physiological function, and immunity. Non-human primates (NHPs) are close to humans in terms of ecological niche, social structure, geographical distribution and evolution. The research of NHPs gut microbiome not only contributes to understanding primate ecology, conservation, and evolution but has also important reference value for in-depth understanding of the role of the gut microbiome in human evolution. This paper summarizes the factors influencing the composition of the gut microbiome in NHPs, including host species and phylogeny, diet, habitat fragmentation, age/sex, captivity, and community life. We also explore the application of gut microbiome research in NHPs ecology, behavior, conservation, and adaptive evolution. Future studies of the gut microbiome of NHPs will offer new insight into primate ecology and evolution as well as human health. They will also provide a new theoretical basis and means for primate conservation.

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    Climate change results in imbalance population growth and change in suitable habitat for red deer in the Qinghai‒Tibet Plateau: a case study in the Leiwuqi National Nature Reserve
    Xiulin YE, Keji GUO, Xinrui LI, Qing WU, Mengfei ZHANG, Ming LI, Xumao ZHAO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 149-156.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150706
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    The Qinghai?Tibet Plateau is the highest geographical unit on Earth and has warmed at about two times the rate of global warming over the past 50 years, which has had a great impact on high-altitude species. We used field survey information collected in the Leiwuqi National Nature Reserve (LNNR) combined with species distribution models (SDMs) and population growth model to find that (1) the population size of Cervus elaphus increased from 890 to 1 400 between 2013 and 2021, and may reach 1 735 in 2050 (1 760 in 2070), and (2) the present suitable habitat of C. elaphus will decrease by 43.4% and 5.1% in 2050s and 2070s, respectively. In addition, the suitable habitats of C. elaphus have 19%, 60% and 37% overlap with that of domestic yaks in the present, 2050s, and 2070s, which decreases the suitable habitat for C. elaphus due to food competition. The estimated increase in population size, decrease in suitable habitats, and competition with yaks will increase the threat to C. elaphus in 2050s. To protect C. elaphus, human activities, particularly for grazing yaks in and around the LNNR, should be reduced to 1 000 ? 1 500. This study integrated SDMs, population growth model, and interspecific relationships to evaluate the impact of climate change on species to the population level, which has significance for other species conservation.

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    Preliminary survey of mammals and birds diversity by using camera traps in the Guangxi Encheng National Nature Reserve
    Bo XIE, Xiuping NONG, Guoli HUANG, Rong HUANG, Wei YAO, Jianzhong LIN, Qihai ZHOU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 215-223.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150653
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    In order to document the wildlife resources in Guangxi Encheng National Nature Reserve. We set up 58 infrared camera traps in this natural reserve to monitor mammals and forest birds from December 2019 to January 2021. The surveys produced a total of 17 332 camera-days of data, and 6 680 independent wildlife photographs were collected. We identified 20 mammal species belonging to 5 orders and 13 families, as well as 61 bird species belonging to 9 orders and 20 families. Among the detected species, one species is listed as first-class National Protected Wildlife: Fran?ois’s Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi), and 26 species (6 mammal species and 20 bird species) are listed as second-class National Protected Wildlife. There are 2 species are classified as Endangered (EN), 6 as Vulnerable (VU) and 19 as Near Threatened (NT) according to the Red List of China’s Vertebrates. Based on the relative abundance index, the mammal with the highest relative abundance index was Leopoldamys edwardsi, the bird was Lophura nycthemera. Camera traps technique is an effective method for wildlife survey. Our results provided the primary records on the species composition and relative abundance of mammals and birds in the Guangxi Encheng National Nature Reserve. These will provide the basic information for future investigation of wildlife and management in the reserve.

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    A review of wildlife conservation and management strategies of Sanjiangyuan National Park
    Tongzuo ZHANG, Feng JIANG, Jingjie ZHANG, Zhenyuan CAI, Hongmei GAO, Haifeng GU, Pengfei SONG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 193-205.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150698
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    Sanjiangyuan National Park (SNP) is one of the first and largest national parks in China and the first national park on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It has landmark significance for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and even for China's accelerated construction of national parks as a natural areas protection system. The diversity of wildlife in SNP is high and the proportion of endangered species is large, among which the proportion of mammals and birds under threat is 32.26% and 19.90%, respectively. SNP also harbors abundant national key protected species and rare species endemic to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, including 46.77% of mammals endemic to China or the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and 7.65% of birds endemic to China. Its rich biodiversity has conservation value of national and even global significance. We briefly reviewed the progress and achievements of global wildlife conservation research, analyzed the causes of wildlife endangerment in SNP, and proposed several wildlife conservation and management strategies, such as strengthening the monitoring of wildlife dynamics in SNP, innovating habitat protection techniques, establishing wildlife migration corridors and refuges, conducting research on the balanced management of grass and livestock, disease control, human-animal conflict, and establishing wildlife gene resource bank. There strategies will provide useful guarantees for the achievement of strict protection of ecological environment, harmonious coexistence between human and nature, as well as regional sustainable development strategic needs in SNP.

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    Wild camel space use as determined by different home range estimators
    Yongxiang ZHOU, Yadong XUE, Shaochuang LIU, Jianquan LIU, Duoliang ZHOU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (1): 102-108.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150672
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    Satellite tracking and positioning technology has been widely used to estimate species home ranges, habitat selection, and migration behavior, which can provide the scientific basis necessary for endangered species conservation and management. In this study, the home ranges of two wild camels (Camelus ferus) were determined using minimum convex polygons, Kernel density estimators, and dynamic Brownian Bridge Movement Models (dBBMM).The advantages, disadvantages, and applicable scenarios of these methods were discussed and key habitats and conservation priority areas of wild camels were identified. The dBBMM home range was the most accurate in relation to the distribution of the camels studied. The average home range (95% dBBMM) and the average core home range (50% dBBMM) were 300.11 km2 and 7.02 km2, respectively. The average monthly home range (95% dBBMM) of the two wild camels was 164.98 km2 and 39.67 km2, respectively, and the average monthly core home range (50% dBBMM) was 4.69 km2 and 2.71 km2, respectively. The northern and western regions of the nature reserve harbored key habitats for wild camels, and should be regarded as conservation priority areas. We propose the use of a multi-method estimation to comprehensively and holistically identify key habitats. The dBBMM home range calculations of wild camels at different life history stages can identify their stopover sites and corridors, which is helpful for the development of management measures and fine-scale conservation actions.

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    The activity budget and the influencing factor of a monogamous western black crested gibbon ( Nomascus concolor) group
    Ziqian LI, Yongliang ZHU, Linguo LI, Wei LI, Jianguang YANG, Zhenhua GUAN, Xuelong JIANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 141-148.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150726
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    The behavioral adaptation of primates to high-altitude habitats has long been a topic of interest in primate research, and recent years have seen a growing focus on behavioral differences of the same species across different habitats. The western black crested gibbon (Nomascus concolor) is a National First-Class Protected Wild Animal in China and boasts the largest population of gibbons in the country. While the species is concentrated in the Mt. Ailao and Mt. Wuliang areas of central Yunnan, there are significant differences in their habitats and social organization between the two locations, and limited research has been conducted on Mt. Ailao gibbons. This study presents the first report on the activity budget, diet, and seasonal variations of a monogamous gibbon group in the high-altitude habitat of Mt. Ailao. Between 2014 - 2015, observations totaling 468 hours were recorded using the instantaneous scanning method at 3-minute intervals. Behavioral data showed that moving behavior was the most prevalent at 38.1%, followed by resting at 36.4%, feeding at 23.3%, singing at 1.9%, and other behavior at 1.3%. Food types were identified in 3 784 feeding behaviors, with leaves accounting for 41.1%, fruit for 33.3%, flowers for 21.0%, epiphytes for 3.9%, and other foods for 0.6%. The study found significant differences in the activity and diet of gibbons between the rainy and dry seasons, with increased fruit consumption during the former and an increased proportion of leaves and flowers during the latter. Additionally, the gibbons increased their resting time and reduced feed and move time during the cold and dry season, while they increased move time and reduced rest and feed time during the hot and rainy season, demonstrating energy-conservative behavioral strategies adopted by gibbons in high-altitude habitats. The results also highlight the influence of habitat food distribution patterns on behavioral strategies, as seen in the comparison with Mt. Wuliang. In conclusion, the study emphasizes the need for systematic research on more monogamous western black crested gibbon groups to gain a full understanding of the adaptive behavior and evolution of social organization in gibbons.

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    Bird and mammal diversity inventory by camera trapping in the Neixiang Baotianman National Nature Reserve, Henan Province
    Qinghao ZHANG, Song YAO, Kai XU, Tong LIU, Wenhong XIAO, Bingyong BAI, Xiaoqun HUANG, Zhishu XIAO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 206-214.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150633
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    We conducted a 3-year survey for large and medium-sized mammals and ground-dwelling birds using infrared cameras from April 2015 to September 2018 in the Neixiang Baotianman National Nature Reserve, Henan province. Based on 12 040 independent images and 37 923 effective camera days from 62 camera traps sites, we identified 54 species belonging to 12 orders and 26 families, including 35 bird species belonging to 6 orders and 12 families and 19 mammal species belonging to 6 orders and 14 families. Turdus rubrocanus, Pomatorhinus hypoleucos, and Latoucheornis siemsseni were newly recorded in the reserve. Among the recorded species, Moschus berezovskii and Aquila chrysaeto are listed as Class Ⅰ National Protected Species, and 13 species as Class Ⅱ national protected animals, e.g. Prionailurus bengalensis, Martes flavigula, Macaca mulatta, Naemorhedus griseus. According to the IUCN Red List, M. berezovskii is listed as endangered, N. griseus as vulnerable, and Arctonyx collaris as near endangered. Based on the Red List of China’s Vertebrates, M. berezovskii is classified as critically endangered, four species are listed as vulnerable and ten species as near endangered. The top three mammals with the highest relative abundance index and site occupancies were Sus scrofa, Hystrix hodgsoni, and A. collaris. The birds with higher relative abundance index and site occupancies were Pucrasia macrolopha and Chrysolophus pictus. Moreover, human activities and livestock grazing were the main disturbance in the reserve. We obtained for the first time images of captured macaques kept for ecotourism. The study provides baseline information for long-term monitoring and research of wildlife and biodiversity management and conservation of the reserve.

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    Two new records of Chodsigoa hypsibia and Sorex bedfordiae from Ningxia in China
    Li ZHOU, Rui LIAO, Quanfen HOU, Shunde CHEN, Shaoying LIU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 224-228.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150709
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    In September 2011, six shrew specimens were collected with traps from Mt. Liupanshan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (35°36′76″N, 106°32′79″E, 2 000 m asl). Pelage, skull, and teeth morphologies of one specimen are similar to Chodsigoa hypsibia and the others are similar to Sorex bedfordiae. Molecular analyses supported the two species C. hypsibia and S. bedfordiae to be monophyletic, and the K2P genetic distance of Cyt b gene is 0.4% (C. hypsibia) and 6.7% - 7.4% (S.bedfordiae). Thus, these specimens were identified as C. hypsibia and S. bedfordiae based on morphological and phylogenetic analyses. They represent the first records of C. hypsibia and S. bedfordiae in Ningxia, and expand the known distribution range of the two species.

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    Diagnosis of peste des petits ruminants and genetic evolution analysis of N and F genes of Pseudois nayaur in Qinghai
    Wei KAN, Leibin LI, Xuyang ZHAO, Lin YANG, Yu SUN, Jinshan CAI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 171-181.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150673
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    On January 19, 2021, an unexplained death of a Pseudois nayaur occurred in the Yikegaoli area, Balong Township, Dulan County, Haixi Prefecture, Qinghai Province. The animal was characterized by being alone, lying on the ground, physical weakness, difficulty in foraging, and black attachments around the anus. It was diagnosed as peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection by clinical symptoms, pathological autopsy, and qRT-PCR. Part of PPRV N and F genes were amplified from the diseased tissues of the dead P. nayaur by RT-PCR. Megalig, NT1, and MEGA 6.0 software were used to compare and analyze the N and F gene sequences of P. nayaur PPRV and the phylogenetic tree was constructed. The results show that the homology between the N and F genes of PPRV infecting the P. nayaur from Qinghai and the Xinjiang strain (China/Xinjiang/2015/16) was 99.43% and 99.73% respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that it belonged to the lineage Ⅳ. At the nucleic acid sequence level of N and F genes, it has the closest genetic relationship with the strains isolated in Xinjiang. Compared with foreign strains, the N gene is more related to the strains isolated from Senegal and Nigeria and the F gene is distantly related to foreign strains. In conclusion, Qinghai P. nayaur PPR strains belong to the gene Ⅳ lineage, which is the same pedigree as the wild virus strains currently prevalent in China.

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    The pellet-decay rate of red deer ( Cervus elaphus) in the Lesser Xing’an Mountains
    Xuefeng SHAO, Xiaoying PING, Yueyuan LI, Long CHEN, Zhiwen NIE, Yuanman HU, Yuehui LI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 157-163.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150682
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    The pellet-decay rate is the time period during which pellet piles disappeared under natural conditions. Pellet-decay rate is a significant parameter for estimating the population size of deer by using the method of pellet distance sampling, providing the foundation for research on population size. In this study, we aim to answer the question of what is the pellet-decay rate of deer under continental climates in high-latitude temperate zones and solve the time-consuming and labor-consuming problem of revisiting each pellet group at their original positions when pellet piles are scattered due to low density and hidden behavior of those species in China. Within the Lesser Xing’an Mountains (46°28′ - 49°21′N)located in the temperate continental climate zone, we selected the Jianshe forest farm in Tieli Forestry Bureau as study area. In January 2015, we collected 38 groups of fresh pellets from red deer (Cervus elaphus) and moved them to a typical conveniently-revisited red deer habitat characterized by coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest and sunny slope, and recorded the original number of pellets in each pile. After that, we made eight visits at certain intervals to record the remaining pellets in each pile and whether each pile was completely decayed. Then, we used logistic binary regression using the R 4.1.2 software to calculate the intercept b0 and slope b1 of the model and the MATLAB R2020b software to calculate the pellet-decay rate. The result showed that the average pellet-decay rate of red deer was 646 ± 53 days. In this study, pellet piles were manually moved and set in one place for observation, which provided a feasible way to study the pellet-decay rate in areas with low density of the target population. This study enriched the research on the pellet-decay rate of deer in China, thus alleviating the obstacle of using the pellet-based distance sampling method to estimate the population size.

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    Effects of cohabitation on emotion and hypothalamic oxytocin expression in middy gerbils
    Fei MIAO, Zixuan KONG, Shaobin YANG, Peng YU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 164-170.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150725
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    Cohabitation between male and female is an important stage of long lasting pair bonding, which involves a series of physical and emotional changes. However, due to the lack of monogamous animal models, the neurobiological regulation, especially the sex difference, in the process of pair bonding is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of male and female cohabitation on emotion and the numbers of oxytocin-neuron in relative brain regions in middy gerbils (Meriones meridianus) using elevated plus maze, forced swimming and immunohistochemical methods. The results showed that, after 10 days of cohabitation, the frequency of entering the open arm of female gerbils in the cohabitation group (FF) was significantly decreased (P < 0.05), and the anxiety index was significantly increased (P < 0.05). In the forced swimming experiment, the frequency and time in immobility in FF were significantly increased (P < 0.05). The expression level of oxytocin in paraventricular nucleus and supraoptic nucleus of hypothalamus in FF was significantly increased (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant changes in behavior and oxytocin levels in cohabiting males, which may be related to sexual dyssynchrony in the formation of pair bonds. In conclusion, cohabitation only causes anxiety-like behavior in female middy gerbils, which may be related to hypothalamic oxytocin system.

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    Habitat prediction of Asiatic golden cat ( Catopuma temminckii) in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province
    Liwen HE, Xiaotong YANG, Jirong TENG, Junliang WANG, Sheng LI, Lingyun XIAO, Jian HUANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 237-247.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150737
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    The Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) is listed as a First Class species in the National Key Protected Wild Animals in China, and assessed as Near Threatened (NT) and Endangered (EN) by IUCN Red List and China Species Red List, respectively. Once widely distributed from East to Southeast Asia, the Asiatic golden cat inhabits diverse habitats ranging from lowland rainforests to montane coniferous forests and subalpine rhododendron forests, whereas its habitat selection preference remains poorly understood. In this research we determined the habitat selection strategy of this species in the montane forest ecosystem in Southwest China. We collected the occurrence data (292 independent detections at 117 sites) of the Asiatic golden cat through camera-trapping surveys from 2016 - 2019 in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve in Gansu Province, and constructed a MaxEnt model with 7 environmental variables (altitude, aspect, slope, distance to river, land use type, distance to road, distance to residents) to predict its suitable habitats in the reserve. The results showed that the suitable habitats were estimated as 1 045.90 km2 in the reserve, yet separated into the northern and southern parts by natural and anthropocentric barriers including the Bailongjiang River, 212 National Highway and the residential area along the low valley. The model response curves showed that the Asiatic golden cat prefers the evergreen coniferous forests close to rivers, at an elevation of around 2 400 m. The results indicated that, the wide river and anthropogenic impacts (e.g. roads) are possibly key factors driving the fragmentation status of the Asiatic golden cat’s habitat at the landscape scale. Future studies shall further examine the impacts of different types of human disturbance on Asiatic golden cats, and explore their basic ecology including diet composition, activity rhythm, population status and dynamics by integrating multiple methods.

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    Distribution, group size and activity rhythm of wolves ( Canis lupus) in the Gongga Mountains, Sichuan Province
    Jiang QIAO, Xiaoli GONG, Wei JIA, Guoqing JIA, Yong JIANG, Huaming ZHOU, Jiaqi LI, Anxiang WEN, Jie WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 248-257.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150542
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    The wolf (Canis lupus) is one of the largest and most widely distributed carnivores in the world. Historically, it occurred throughout mainland China, but its range has shrunk dramatically due to habitat loss and human persecution. We conducted wildlife camera trapping in 1 km grid cells, with 195 cells and 286 sites in total, in Mt. Gongga from 2011 to 2020. Wolves were detected in 46 cells and at 56 sites, with 278 independent detections. The detection percentage was 23.6% and 19.6% for grid cells and sites, respectively. Wolves were found at altitudes ranging from 3 097 m to 4 563 m. The group size of wolves averaged (1.2 ± 0.5) ind., with no significant variance among vegetation types or between seasons (t = -1.119, P = 0.266; t = -0.251, P = 0.801). Wolves were active at 03: 00 - 07: 00 and 15: 00 - 17: 00 in the dry season (November - April), and were active at 03: 00 - 07: 00 and 13: 00 - 15: 00 in the rainy season (May - October). The temporal activity pattern significantly overlapped between wolves and sympatric herbivores. The highest degree of overlap was with the Chinese serow Capricornis milneedwardsii (Δ4 = 0.908) in the dry season and with the sambar deer Rusa unicolor (Δ4 = 0.895) in the rainy season. This study determined the distribution, population size and activity rhythm of wolves in Mt. Gongga for the first time, providing reliable information for further studies and large carnivore management in the nature reserve.

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    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 235-236.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150790
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    The three-dimensional reconstruction and parameter measurement of the skull of Amur leopard ( Panthera pardus orientalis) in China
    Qiang LIU, Haijun WANG, Yue ZHAO, Shiyu CHEN, Guangshun JIANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 315-321.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150740
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    The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), one of the world’s most endangered cat subspecies, is mainly distributed in the Northeastern Tiger and Leopard National Park and its surrounding areas in China. No skull measurements have been reported due to its rarity. In this study, the head specimen of a female Amur leopard who died of severe illness was used as the research object. The image data was acquired by scanning with the Dachang Sunshine32 X-ray computed tomography device and the 3D skull reconstruction was performed with the 3D Slicer software to establish the‘digital specimen’of the Amur leopards and measure 26 cranial parameters. This study filled the gap in the digital morphology model of the northeast leopard’s skull among the big cats in China, and provided a basis for the future conservation work of large endangered cats, such as research, conservation, medical treatment, data preservation and feline population differentiation. Morphological information from the skull laid the foundation for taxonomic studies of the Amur leopard. For taxonomic studies of mammals, cranial features have been, and continue to be, important evidence for understanding both interspecific and intraspecific taxonomy.

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    Mammal diversity in the forest fragments of Wuhan City
    Qiwei WANG, Hengyue ZHAO, Qin LIU, Neng WAN, Zhibing ZHU, Hongyu NIU, Hongmao ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 258-269.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150730
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    Urbanization is one of the main reasons for forest fragmentation in urban systems, which causes threats to biodiversity through both species decline and biotic homogenization. This study aims to reveal the richness, abundance, and diversity of mammals on the fragmented forest patches in urban, suburban and rural areas. Our study helps to provide substantial data for the protection of mammal diversity and land-use planning in urban ecosystems. According to the urban-suburban-rural gradient, we surveyed the diversity of mammals on 13 forest patches in Wuhan from 2019 to 2021 by using literature reviewing and camera-trapping. Taking the patch area, distance to the urban center, isolation, and shape index as patch characteristics of urbanization, we analyzed the relationships between species composition and patch characteristics by using RDA, and examined the relationships between the species diversity and patch characteristics by using linear regression. We recorded 15 forest mammals in total, which belong to 8 orders and 6 families. The dominant species are Racoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), Asian badger (Meles leucurus), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), and Confucian niviventer (Niviventer confucianus). The fauna type is dominated by oriental species. The species composition was positively correlated with distance to the urban center in suburban forest, and negatively correlated with area in urban forest. The species richness (P < 0.01) and Shannon-Wiener diversity index (P < 0.05) were significantly positively correlated with the distance to urban center. There was no significant correlation between species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity index with isolation and shape index (P > 0.05). Our study showed that the distance to the urban center was the main factor affecting forest mammal diversity in Wuhan. The high speed of urbanization in Wuhan has reduced the mammal diversity. For maintaining and restoring the high diversity of mammals, we recommend that some specific measures should be carried out in urban forest patches to reduce human disturbance and protect natural forests, especially the continuous natural forests in the suburban and rural areas.

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    Effects of dietary protein contents on the immune function of plateau pika ( Ochotona curzoniae)
    Lu ZHANG, Xueqin WU, Huiqing CHEN, Xin DONG, Guozhen SHANG, Yan WU, Jianghui BIAN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 293-303.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150743
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    The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is not only a small herbivorous mammal unique to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but also a keystone species in the alpine grassland ecosystem. The population number of plateau pikas has increased dramatically with the degradation of grasslands caused by overgrazing. Our recent research has found that the immune system of plateau pikas was significantly enhanced as the alpine grassland degrades, and speculated it maybe related to the rich high-protein food resources in the degraded alpine grassland. To further validate this hypothesis, a field experiment was conducted in a highly degraded grassland of the Qinghai Haibei National Field Research Station of Alpine Grassland Ecosystem. The objective of this study is to verify the hypothesis that rich high-protein food resources could increase the immune system of plateau pikas. Six sample plots (70 m × 70 m) were randomized amongst three treatment groups: no supplementation (control); supplementation with rabbit chow with 5% protein; and supplementation with rabbit chow with 20% protein. We measured the fecal cortisol metabolite (FCM) levels, phytohemagglutinin (PHA) response, IgG levels of keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) in serum, and intestinal parasitic infection status of plateau pikas. The results showed that supplementation with pelleted chow with 20% protein treatment significantly decreased the FCM levels of plateau pikas, significantly increased the PHA response and IgG levels against KLH, and significantly reduced the infection rate of coccidia and the infection intensity of cestodes. This result confirmed the above hypothesis and suggested that in degraded alpine grasslands, high-protein food can promote the growth of plateau pika populations by alleviating the vicious cycle between stress-immunity-parasitic infections.

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    Characteristics of microsatellite distributions in genomes of Hipposideros armiger (Chiroptera)
    Weiwei SHAO, Fen QIAO, Wei CAI, Zhihua LIN, Li WEI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 182-192.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150724
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    The vertebrate genome is rich in microsatellite information. In this study, the distribution of microsatellite (SSRs) in the complete genome and its genes of Hipposideros armiger (Chiroptera) was analyzed, and Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) containing microsatellite coding sequence (CDS) were explored. The results showed that the total genome size of H. armiger was 2.24 Gb and contained 497 883 microsatellites. Mononucleotide (173 953 microsatellites) and dinucleotide repeats (222 591 microsatellites) were the most diverse in the genome of H. armiger accounting for 34.94% and 44.71% of whole genome size, with their relative abundance of 77.78 loci/Mb and 99.52 loci/Mb, respectively. The most microsatellite types from mononucleotide repeat to hexanucleotide repeat were (A)n, (AC)n, (TAT)n, (TTTA)n, (AACAA)n and (TATATA)n, with their frequency of 95.14%, 55.25%, 38.41%, 22.17%, 48.68% and 20.30% respectively. The number and abundance of microsatellites were different in both gene regions and intergenic regions. The diversity of microsatellites was highest in intergenic region with 322 666 microsatellites, and its abundance was 2 541.57 loci/Mb, whereas lowest in coding region with 1 461 microsatellites, and its abundance was 461.98 loci/Mb. The distribution characteristics of microsatellites in intergenic region and total genome were similar. Trinucleotide repeat were the most common types of microsatellites in the coding region, while mono-, di- and tri-nucleotide repeat were the most common types of microsatellites in the exons. The positional specificity of microsatellites abundance distributions in 500 bp upstream, exon, intron and 500 bp downstream were 16 400.94 loci/Mb, 972.12 loci/Mb, 2 180.66 loci/Mb and 3 899.89 loci/Mb, respectively. A total of 1 461 microsatellite coding sequences (CDS) were found in the genome of H. armiger, and 1 226 genes were annotated. GO was mainly annotated into 63 functional genes and assigned to 26 439 GO items. The most significant KEGG enrichment was in the signal transduction pathway, which contained 146 genes. The results of this study not only provide a reference for the screening of high-quality microsatellites in H. armiger, it will also provide a reference for genome-wide analysis of microsatellite distribution in other Chiroptera species and the study of their biological functions in the whole genome.

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    Diversity and activity rhythm of mammals and birds in the Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, Hunan inferred through camera traps
    Xiangdong RUAN, Yixin CHEN, Boyu WANG, Xiao YANG, Chunlin LIAO, Yang YU, Cheng GUO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 342-351.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150708
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    Identifying the status of fauna diversity in protected areas is important for understanding their current population demography and distribution, while is essential for accurate conservation planning. Due to the complex terrain and dense vegetation, the knowledge of the fauna diversity status of Mt. Wuling, situated at the edge of the Yun-Gui Plateau,remains insufficient. From March 2017 to December 2018, we investigated the diversity, community composition, and activity rhythms of terrestrial mammals and birds by deploying 60 infrared camera traps at the northern Mt. Wuling in Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, Hunan, China. We established 60 camera sites, monitored totaling 18 525 camera-trapping days, and identified 2 865 independent images. We totally identified 15 mammals and 35 birds, belonging to 8 orders, 25 families, and 37 genera. We also identified three birds, namely Schoeniparus dubius, Turdus feae, and Emberiza tristrami as new recorded species for the reserve. Rodentia, Cetartiodactyla, Carnivora, Galliformes, and Passeriformes were the most abundant orders and widely occurred in the study area. Based on the detailed time records of the eight most abundant species, the results show that: (1) Dremomys pyrrhomerus and Paguma larvata are typically diurnal and nocturnal mammals respectively, and their activity rhythms are consistent with other populations outside the region; (2) Both Elaphodus cephalophus and Sus scrofa exhibit cathemeral activities but their activity rhythms are significantly different from each other; (3) We also detected significant differences in activity rhythms, between Tragopan temminckii and Chrysolophus pictus as well as between Garrulax ocellatus and Leiothrix lutea. This survey provides basic and valuable information on the current status of mammalian and avian diversity in Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, which is essential for wildlife monitoring and biodiversity conservation in this area.

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    Analysis of inorganic elements in the bile of Plateau zokor and Gansu zokor
    Wen QIN, Chuanhua YANG, Zhenyuan CAI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (2): 229-234.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150685
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    The content of inorganic elements provides an important basis for drug processing and finding substitutes. Inorganic elements, which play an important role in the whole life-history of animals, cannot be synthesized and can only be obtained from the environment. Plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi) and Gansu zokor (E. cansus) are two rodents that live underground for their entire lives. The analysis of inorganic elements in the bile of the two zokor species will not only provide guidance for finding alternatives for cherish medicine bear bile, but also help to explore wildlife medicinal resources. In this study, the contents of inorganic chemical elements in the bile were obtained by wet digestion and detected by an ICAP 6300 inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometer. An independent sample t-test was used to compare the contents of inorganic chemical elements in the bile of the two species. The linear relationship between the contents of inorganic elements was also analyzed. The results showed that the contents of inorganic elements in the bile of Plateau zokor and Gansu zokor are in different orders. The positive and negative correlation of inorganic elements in the bile of Plateau zokor is different from that of Gansu zokor. The higher content of inorganic elements in the bile of Gansu zokor than that of Plateau zokor may be related to the relatively higher content of inorganic elements in the food of Gansu zokor, and also related to the different synergistic effect of inorganic elements in the bile between the two species. The main inorganic elements in the bile of the two zokor and species are similar to that of bear bile, and the medicinal properties among them also resemble the inorganic element composition. The bile of Plateau zokor and Gansu zokor are preferred to be gas medicine, and also beneficial to the treatment of sports injury and strengthening tendons and bones. Therefore, the bile of the two zokors can be used as a potential substitute for bear bile, our research also benefits to transforming the ‘poison zokors’, which with large amounts of resources, into effective medicinal resources.

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    Screening the critical morphology and skull indices for identifying Rattus norvegicus and Rattus tanezumi
    Yan CHEN, Yaxian YUE, Tao WANG, Lei ZHEN, Donghui LI, Runyu TAO, Ying SONG, Deng WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 322-332.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150720
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    Clarifying the validity of characters that can classify similar rodent species can contribute to defining species quickly and accurately. We identified 36 sympatric rats into R. norvegicus (n = 31) and R. tanezumi (n = 5) by aligning the partial sequence of Vkorc1 gene (725 bp). Based on the identification results of Vkorc1 gene, we compared the accuracy of the classification and identification results of the two species by principal component analysis and cluster analysis of morphology and skull indices, which included 21 permutations of body weight, body length, tail length, ear length and hind foot length, tail length/body length, hind foot length/body length and fatness, and 2 combining indices of skull metrics. The body metrics combination of tail length/body length, ear length/body length, and fatness accurately classified all individuals of the two species. The skull morphology index combination of the length of the upper cheek tooth row, length of the lower cheek tooth row, length of the tympanic bulla, and width of the tympanic bulla also all individuals of the two species. These results provided the critical body or skull morphological characters and corresponding analytical approaches for classifying and identifying the two species.

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    New records of Crocidura dongyangjiangensis and Crocidura anhuiensis in Jiangxi Province
    Jiangxiao HU, Yifan XU, Zhian ZOU, Wei ZENG, Jie DAI, Xueyang REN, Hongfeng YAO, Zhongzheng CHEN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 352-356.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150723
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    In June 2022, four specimens of Crocidura were collected from Wuyi Mountain, Yanshan County, Jiangxi Province. Morphological and phylogenetic analyses showed that one specimen is C. dongyangjiangensis, and the other three are C. anhuiensis. Both species are the first records in Jiangxi Province. The specimen of C. dongyangjiangensis exhibits a light gray-brown color, has a small body type head-body length of 63 mm, tail length of 40 mm, cranial length of 16.57 mm, and a narrow skull. These morphological features are consistent with the description of specimens from Dongyangjiang, Zhejiang Province. The maximum likelihood (ML) tree based on Cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene showed a monophyletic group between this specimen and C. dongyangjiangensis, and the genetic distance (p-distance) between them ranged from 0.6% to 1.8%. The other three specimens identified as C.anhuiensis from Jiangxi are medium-sized shrews. They have head-body length of 75 ? 87 mm and tail length of 52 ? 62 mm (68% ? 77% of head-body length), which are consistent with the morphology of the specimens from Huangshan, Anhui Province. The ML tree showed these three specimens formed a monophyletic group with the C. anhuiensis from Anhui, and their genetic difference (p-distance) was 1.2%.

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    Characteristics of tetracycline antibiotic resistance genes in intestinal microorganisms and intestinal environment of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys
    Shuzhen ZOU, Ya LUO, Ming CHENG, Fan WANG, Dayong LI, Di KANG, Yun TANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 304-314.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150671
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    The gut of wild animals has been shown to be a reservoir for microorganisms that contain antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are at particular risk for ARGs. The intestinal microbial composition of female and male Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys was determined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Tetracycline antibiotic resistance genes (T-ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and intestinal enzyme activities and nutrient contents of the monkeys intestinal microorganisms were analyzed. A network model was used to analyze the potential host bacteria of T-ARGs and MGEs. A simple correlative relationship was used to analyze the relationship between the abundances of T-ARGs and MGEs and the intestinal micro?ecological environment. The results showed no significant difference in the absolute abundance of T-ARGs and MGEs between female and male monkey groups. The relative abundance of Verrucomicrobia and Fibrobacteres in the intestines of the female group were significantly lower than those of the male group, while the activities of cellulase and protease content were significantly higher than those of the male group. T-ARGs could be used as an indicator of management risks of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in the exhibition area, who may face three potential risks. First, opportunistic pathogens in Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys are potential hosts of T-ARGs and there may be a risk of drug resistance in Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys treated with tetracycline antibiotics. Second, lipase activity, protease activity, and cellulase activity can improve the transfer ability of MGEs, which suggests that the method of maintaining intestinal digestive ability of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in the exhibition area may be contrary to the goal of reducing the transfer ability of T-ARGs. Third, T-ARGs may inhibit proteins being digested and amino acids being absorbed. It is suggested to control the sources of T-ARGs exposure in the exhibition area, in order to ensure the stability of the intestinal micro-ecological environment and to reduce the drug resistance of pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, extra attention should be paid to the individual health of male Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys.

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    Behavioral ethogram and posture‒act‒environment coding system of wild Leopard cats ( Prionailurus bengalensis) based on infrared camera technology
    Ling LIU, Aigang XIAO, Tiejian ZHAO, Xiaomei FENG, Suxia SHEN, Xianwang LU, Hongwu GUAN, Dapeng ZHAO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 270-279.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150713
    Abstract491)   HTML622)    PDF (7366KB)(484)       Save

    From June 2017 to April 2021, the behavioral ethogram and posture?act?environment (PAE) coding system of wild Leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) were investigated based on infrared camera technology. The behavioral diversity of wild leopard cats across seasons and age groups was also statistically analyzed. In this study, we identified and recorded 8 types of postures, 39 acts, and 25 behaviors of wild leopard cats and established the behavioral ethogram and PAE coding system for this species. We also found that the total absolute diversity index Htotal and the total relative diversity index rtotal of Leopard cats were the highest in summer and the lowest in winter. There was a significant difference between the absolute diversity index H and relative diversity index r in autumn and winter (H: Z = -2.023, P = 0.043; r: Z = -2.023, P = 0.043). The total absolute diversity index Htotal and the total relative diversity index rtotal of adults were higher than cubs, and there were significant age-group differences in the relative diversity index r (Z = -2.018, P = 0.044). These findings provide a scientific basis for the comprehensive protection of natural populations of wild leopard cats.

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    Population viability analysis of Père David’s deer ( Elaphurus davidianus) in Dongting Lake, Hunan Province
    Conglei LI, Shurong TIAN, Yucheng SONG, Hong ZHANG, Dali GAO, Daode YANG, Xiaojie GUI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 280-292.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150710
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    Population viability analysis is a method of evaluating population size and extinction risk of threatened species, through analysis of factors such as population statistical randomness, environmental randomness, natural disasters, spatial structure of habitats and various management approaches to assess their impacts on threatened species and provide theoretical support for conservation and management strategies.The Père David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus) population in the Dongting Lake is a naturalized population. Due to low population growth as a result of flooding, and the threat of insularization and inbreeding depression, it is necessary to formulate a conservation action plan to preserve that population. We monitored the population from 2006 to 2020 and analyzed population viability based on the data collected. There were 3 groups of individuals in the area, with a total population size of about 210 individuals. We used the VORTEX model ( to simulate dynamics of the population for the next 100 years based on various population parameters, including current population status, mating system, carrying capacity, and mortality. Under ideal conditions and assumed carrying capacity of 1 000 individuals, the probability of population extinction is 0, the intrinsic growth rate r is 0.0991 ± 0.0800, the instantaneous growth rate λ is 1.1041 ± 1.1900, the net reproduction rate R0 is 2.006 2, the average generation time of females T is 7.03 years, and average generation time of males T is 8.65 years. The population viability analysis indicated that the coefficient of inbreeding will increase by 8.08%, and expected and observed heterozygosity will decrease by 6.57% and 8.30%, respectively. We found through sensitivity analysis that low birth rate and high fawn mortality caused by flooding would be the main factors influencing population growth, and the probability of population extinction would be positively correlated to the frequency and degree of influence of flooding. Based on these analyses, we provided recommendations on protection and management strategies of the population.

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    Analysis of the nutritional status of vitamins and trace elements in adult male captive giant pandas at different feeding stages
    Mingxi LI, Huanliu HE, Hao ZHANG, Han LI, Tao DENG, Min CHEN, Hairui WANG, Ying YAO
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (3): 333-341.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150691
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    In the wild, giant pandas have access to a broad range of dietary options, however, for captive individuals, dietary options are greatly reduced. Maintaining a balanced diet, which includes the appropriate levels of micronutrients, is essential to the ex-situ conservation of the giant panda. Evaluating the micronutrient status of captive giant pandas at different feeding stages is a necessary step in constructing a scientific feeding strategy for this iconic species. In this study, seven healthy adult captive giant pandas were selected and fed bamboo leaves (bamboo leaf stage) and bamboo shoots (bamboo shoots stage) in turn. Feeding tests were carried out three times during the bamboo leaf stage and twice during the shoot stage. Each feeding test lasted for three days and the interval between each feeding test was 28 days. During the tests, the daily food intake of the giant pandas was recorded, the vitamin content of the bamboo that was provided was measured and corresponding mineral content was referenced so as to compare the daily intake of vitamins and minerals during the different feeding stages. Blood samples were collected at the end of each feeding stage, and the serum levels of 13 vitamins and 10 minerals were determined. In bamboo shoots, the contents of VA, VE, VK1, nicotinic acid, pyridoxal and pyridoxine were lower, while the contents of VB5 and VB12 were higher than those in bamboo leaves (P < 0.05). Compared with the bamboo leaf stage, the daily intakes of VE, VK1, Ca, Fe, Cu and Mn decreased significantly, while the daily intakes of VB5, VB6, VB7, VB12, Mg and Zn increased significantly during the bamboo shoot stage (P < 0.05). Moreover, the serum levels of VB2, Cr and Se were lower, while the levels of VE, VK1, VB5, VB7, VB9 and VB12 were higher during the bamboo shoot stage (P < 0.05). The results showed that feeding different bamboo parts could affect both the intake and serum levels of vitamins and minerals of captive giant pandas. The differences and patterns of micro-nutrition status between different bamboo feeding stages can provide a theoretical basis for the provisioning of bamboo as well as the nutritional supplementation in the daily feeding and management of captive giant pandas.

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    Dynamic observation of provisioned wild Trachypithecus francoisi in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve, Guizhou
    ZHANG Peng, YAN Xiugang, SHI Yun, YANG De, WANG Bin, LI Wei, YANG Yuanlu, YANG Zhaohui, WU Guangyang, CAI Zhi, LI Siyao, ZOU Hao, ZHANG Fan
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 753-759.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150707
    Abstract445)   HTML0)    PDF (2712KB)(447)       Save
    From 2009 to 2021, a direct observation method was used to track and monitor a provisioned group of Trachypithecus francoisi in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve. The observation period covered 1 846 days with an average annual working days of 142. In total, 31 adults (15 males, 16 females) were observed and, in addition, 26 babies were born with a male-female ratio of 1.2∶1 (14 male, 12 female) of which 15 infants survived (7 males, 8 females), a survival rate of 57.7%. For the whole group, the average annual monkey group birth rate was about 22.8% and the annual loss rate was about 11.4%. The number of births exhibited a bimodal distribution, peaking from February to April and from July to October. The average reproductive interval of adult monkeys was 18.7 months but shortened to 16.3 months after the death or disappearance of a newborn. During 2019 -2021, the average growth rate of the group was 11.4%, the number of monkeys had generally stabilized and was self-sustaining. However, as of the end of December 2021, the feeding group had dwindled to just nine individuals (two males and seven females) due to individual deaths, disappearances, and expulsions of some sub-adults. There were no infants or juveniles and insufficient sub-adults. Furthermore, the proportion of middle-aged and elderly individuals was high, resulting in an imbalanced age structure. This study provides basic data related to long-term monitoring of wild Trachypithecus francoisi in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve. This has provided an important basis for follow-up scientific research, educational projects, and monitoring and management of Trachypithecus francoisi in the reserve. Moreover, it has ensured that this flagship species and its habitats are effectively protected and sustainably used, so as to promote the high-quality development of biodiversity protection in this region.
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    Population size and distribution of western black crested gibbon ( Nomascus concolor) in Ailao Mountain, Chuxiong Prefecture, Yunnan Province
    LI Genhui, QIN Zhongyi, LU Lixiong, GAO Wenjun, LUO Wenfu, LI Han, LI Yuwu, YIN Cunquan, XU Ping, YIN Guanghua, LI Fabao, NIU Xiaowei, JIANG Xuelong
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 513-522.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150749
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    From November to December 2020, we conducted the second field survey on the population and distribution of the western black crested gibbon ( Nomascus concolor) in Ailao Mountain, Chuxiong Prefecture, Yunnan by interviews and loud morning calls counting method. The survey recorded 61 groups and 14 individuals of western black crested gibbon, a total of about 270 individuals in the National Nature Reserve and its surrounding state forest areas. The gibbon population was mainly found (59 groups and 13 individuals) from the central part of Chuxiong City to the south part of Shuangbai County, while from the central to the north part of Nanhua County it was represented by a small isolated population (two groups and one individual). Compared with the previous survey in 2005, the population of the western black crested gibbon in Ailao Mountains, Chuxiong Prefecture increased significantly but still facing threats from population isolation and human disturbance such as grazing by cattle and goats. According to the current population and distribution pattern, we propose to conduct long-term population dynamic monitoring for concentrated populations, regular and irregular patrolling for isolated and marginal distributed groups, habitat assessment and restoration, and assign the groups in state forests managed by national nature reserve management and protection bureau for protection and conservation of western black crested gibbons in Ailao Mountains, Chuxiong Prefecture, Yunnan.
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    The current distribution and prediction of suitable habitat of Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx) in China
    LIU Ke, LIU Yanlin, LI Sheng
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 652-663.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150801
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    Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx) is widely distributed in northern Eurasia and, is one of the top predators in arid and semi-arid ecosystems in China and plays a significant role in maintaining ecosystem balance. Since the mid-20th century, the Eurasian lynx in China has experienced dramatic population decline and range contraction. However, our knowledge on its distribution status and dynamics is still very limited, which is a critical obstacle to developing specific conservation planning and action. To determine the current distribution of Eurasian lynx in China, we conducted a comprehensive search from multiple sources, including camera-trapping datasets, literature databases, and news reports, on the occurrence records of this species in China from 2010 to 2022. A total of 155 confirmed occurrence records of Eurasian lynx were obtained and were used to construct a species distribution model to predict its suitable habitat across China using MaxEnt with 24 environmental variables of 4 categories. The results showed that Eurasian lynx is currently distributed in 9 provinces, among which Neimenggu has the most occurrence records ( n = 28). The result of cluster analysis showed that these occurrence sites could be grouped into three distinct spatial clusters: northeast, northwest, and southwest China. The averaged model AICc was the lowest when the regularization multiplier (RM) was 4 for the MaxEnt model and the mean AUC of the 10 candidate models was 0.814, indicating good performance of model prediction. The total area of the model predicted suitable habitat in China is 328.74×10 4 km 2, mainly located in northern Heilongjiang, northeastern Neimenggu, northwestern Sichuan, eastern Xizang, Altai, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountains in Xinjiang, and the Qilian Mountains along the border of Qinghai and Gansu. Annual mean temperature, precipitation of driest month and land cover type were the most important factors affecting the habitat suitability of Eurasian lynx in China. Compared to the species range map provided by IUCN, the Tianshan-Altai Mountain Region, northeastern Neimenggu, parts of western Sichuan, and the Qilian Mountains were probably omitted during the IUCN species assessment, and further studies are urgently needed to examine the population and distribution status of Eurasian lynx in these regions.
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    Seasonal differences in habitat selection of rhesus macaques ( Macaca mulatta) in the Western Sichuan Plateau region
    SI Huangkai, JIN Zuxiang, ZHANG Kechu, ZHOU Fei, YAO Yongfang, XIAO Hongtao, LI Bajin, Pucuowangjia, XU Huailiang
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 676-688.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150752
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    From July 2019 to March 2021, a follow-up survey was conducted on a group of about 40 rhesus macaques ( Macaca mulatta) in Yajiang County, Sichuan Province, to explore seasonal differences in habitat selection in a high-altitude environment. 135 plots (20 m×20 m) were selected based on macaque observations and 60 control plots were set where macaques were not present. 18 ecological factors, such as altitude, grazing intensity, and vegetation types, were measured in each plot and used to calculate a selection index and perform a principal component analysis. The results showed that (1) rhesus macaques preferred staying at higher altitudes (3 900 - 4 300 m) in spring, summer and autumn, but moved toward lower altitudes (3 500 - 3 900 m) in winter; (2) the macaques preferred sunny slopes, while in winter, there was no obvious preference for slope orientation; (3) their preferred habitats were areas with high canopy density (greater than 60%) in spring and low canopy density (less than 60%) in autumn and winter; (4) in spring and winter, they stayed near water sources (less than 100 m away), but preferred habitats were more than 100 m from water sources in summer and autumn; (5) in summer, they preferred to move to forested areas (coniferous forest, alpine oak forest, mixed broadleaf-conifer forest), but in other seasons they favored lowland grasslands (near the river valley) at lower altitude; (6) they avoided areas with high levels of human interference as much as possible in summer and autumn and engaged in more activities in areas with high levels of human interference in winter and spring. Both human disturbance and geographical factors played a significant role in year-round habitat selection. Vegetation factors mainly influenced habitat selection in spring, summer, and autumn, while shelter condition factors mainly affected summer habitat selection. Compared to other low-altitude areas, maximizing access to food and reducing energy consumption are the key factors for macaques to survive and reproduce in plateau environments with low natural productivity.
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    Analysis of factors influencing vigilance and physiological stress in Przewalski’s gazelle
    LIU Ruoshuang, SHI Jianbin, LIU Dingzhen, SHEN Xinchen, WANG Qingqing, XU Xuefei, GUO Dongsheng, DONG Shikui, ZHANG Yu, HE Yubang, WU Yonglin
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 479-488.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150765
    Abstract204)   HTML6)    PDF (2146KB)(104)       Save
    Animals develop physiological and behavioral responses to cope with natural stressors (e. g., predators) or anthropogenic stressors (e. g., road traffic). However, these responses may affect the health and survival of individuals, leading to a range of serious wildlife conservation problems. Elevated glucocorticoid concentration and increased vigilance are two common responses to predation risk in mammals. Chronic high-level glucocorticoid concentration and vigilance occur at the expense of other life maintenance and reproduction activities, reflecting a trade-off between individual survival and future fecundity. In this study, a non-invasive sampling method was employed to collect fresh fecal samples from female Przewalski’s gazelles ( Procapra przewalskii) and the cortisol concentrations in the samples were measured using ELISA. Focal-animal all-occurrence sampling and scan sampling of behavior were applied to collect data on the vigilance behaviour of female gazelles. Generalized linear mixed model was used to investigate the effects of different types of stressors on the fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM) concentration and vigilance of female Przewalski’s gazelles. In wild Przewalski’s gazelle populations, reproductive status was the main factor influencing FGMs and vigilance ( F = 39. 162, P < 0. 001), with higher FGMs and vigilance behavior in the lambing season than the rutting season. Anthropogenic stressors were important factors affecting FGMs of female Przewalski’s gazelles, with road and railway traffic contributing more to their physiological stress than natural predators and grassland fences ( F = 87. 482, P < 0. 001). The negative impact of socio-economic development on wildlife is an inevitable challenge for Przewalski’s gazelle conservation. We should undertake great efforts to balance socio-economic development and wildlife conservation, and build a harmonious community for both humans and nature.
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    Comparison of intestinal microbiota of golden-headed lion tamarins, golden-handed tamarins and cotton-headed tamarins under the same captive environment
    ZHANG Zeming, YAO Hongyu, WU Nan, ZHAO Lingling, GU Yiru, WANG Yu, WU Hong, ZHAO Dapeng
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 580-592.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150739
    Abstract196)   HTML2)    PDF (4950KB)(50)       Save
    The composition of intestinal microbiota in animals is directly related to the host species and their living environment. Studies on intestinal microbiota composition of various species living in the same habitat is important for the conservation of species diversity. Both non-damage sampling and 16S rDNA high-throughput sequencing were used to investigate the structure, diversity, and functional prediction of intestinal microbiota across three species of New World monkeys (golden-headed lion tamarin Leontopithecus chrysomelas, golden-handed tamarin Saguinus midas, and cottonheaded tamarin Saguinus oedipus) from Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo. The results showed that a total of 14 phyla, 20 classes, 50 orders, 101 families, 231 genera, and 356 species of intestinal flora were obtained from 18 fecal samples collected from the three species. At the phylum level, the common dominant phyla across the three species were Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. At the genus level, the common dominant bacterial genera included Streptococcus and Bifidobacterium. There were significant differences in intestinal microbiota at both the phylum level and the genus level among species, in which the richness of intestinal microbiota in golden-headed lion tamarin was significantly higher than that in the others. This study provides basic data for further investigation on the intestinal microbiota diversity and survival adaptation, and also serves as reference for ex situ management for species conservation.
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    Estimating the population size of wild boar ( Sus scrofa) in Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province using camera-trapping data
    CHEN Xiaonan, TIAN Jia, LIU Mingzhang, SHEN Yunyi, YU Jianping, LIU Feng, SHEN Xiaoli, LI Sheng
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 523-532.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150785
    Abstract195)   HTML4)    PDF (5317KB)(123)       Save
    Wild boar ( Sus scrofa) has high fecundity and strong adaptability to various environments. In recent years, the populations of wild boar in China have been increasing dramatically, causing numerous human-wildlife conflicts primarily due to crop damages and people injuries by the boars. To provide a scientific basis for future planned hunting and population management, we took Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province as an example to estimate the population size of wild boar using camera-trapping data. The camera-trapping data, collected during September and October 2020, contained 964 independent records of wild boar from 429 camera stations with an extensive sampling effort of 23 690 camera days. We used the Royle-Nichols model, combining environmental factors including terrain, vegetation and human impacts and the species’home range parameter, to estimate the population and distribution of wild boars in Kaihua. The results showed that the population size of wild boar within the study area was estimated as 5548 ±2343 (mean ±95% C. I. ), with an average density of 2. 38 ±0. 61 (mean ±SD) ind. /km 2, which was negatively associated with altitude and resident density, and slightly positively associated with forest coverage. Based on the results, we suggest that wild boar hunting, as a management measure to control its population, in the study area should be conducted in farmland, plantations, and ecotone areas of forest and farmland, where the boar densities are high. In the future, local administrations and the Qianjiangyuan National Park shall integrate data from the systematically designed camera-trapping network, as well as those from hunting records and other sources, into this management framework, so that the population dynamics model of target species can be continuously updated and improved, and a long-term population dynamics monitoring system can be established.
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    Population dynamics of wild Asian elephants over the past fifty years
    TANG Yongjing, YANG Cong, YANG Zicheng, CHEN Fei
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 593-607.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150768
    Abstract163)   HTML7)    PDF (5745KB)(117)       Save
    The Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus) is the flagship species of tropical forest ecosystems in Asia and plays an important role in increasing species richness and maintaining ecosystem services. Affected by habitat loss and degradation, illegal poaching, and human-elephant conflict, the distribution and population size of the world’s wild Asian elephants have declined significantly compared to the past. In order to explore the distribution, population changes, and current conservation needs of wild Asian elephants, this paper reviews the research on the historical distribution, population dynamics, threat factors, traditional culture, laws and regulations, and conservation action plans of Asian elephants in South and Southeast Asia and China over the past 50 years, and draws the following conclusions: (1) In the past 50 years, the global wild Asian elephant population has shown an early trend of decline and then growth, followed by a continued decline between 1970 - 2000 and gradually increased between 2000 - 2010, and slow growth since 2010. (2) South Asia is an important area for stabilizing the global wild Asian elephant population, mainly due to timely legislative protection, strong traditional culture protection and other factors. The continuous decline of Asian elephant populations in Southeast Asia is mainly affected by deforestation and illegal poaching. The large-scale loss of forest habitat is the main reason for its continuous decline in Indonesia, Borneo, and other regions. The main reasons for the decline in Myanmar and Thailand are illegal poaching and smuggling. (3) The existing habitats in South Asia are relatively concentrated, there are more fragmented habitats in Southeast Asia, and Myanmar has more potential distribution areas. (4) At present, the main threats to wild Asian elephants are habitat loss and degradation, poaching and illegal trade, and human-elephant conflicts. In addition, problems associated with infrastructure construction, cross-border difficulties, and isolated populations cannot be ignored. Scientific and reasonable protection measures should be formulated taking into account the local challenges faced by Asian elephant populations, and on the basis of carrying out sufficient scientific research.
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    Group behavior and seasonal changes of Capra sibirica in Urad Desert, Inner Mongolia
    SONG Yuhao, BI Junhuai, Wensuyaletu, WANG Guolin, LI Feng, Lü Wenbing, ZHOU Yifan, PAN Xingxing, ZHANG Ruidong
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 544-552.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150731
    Abstract149)   HTML2)    PDF (6250KB)(39)       Save
    This study investigates the main factors affecting the population dynamics and cluster size of Capra sibirica and provides a basis for its research and conservation. Infrared cameras technology was used to asses cluster types, sizes, and seasonal differences of Capra sibirica from November 2020 to November 2021 in the desert area of Urad, Inner Mongolia. 648 groups represented by 1 187 individuals were recorded and divided into 5 cluster types: mixed age/sex groups (65 groups, 10. 0%), adult female groups (13 groups, 2. 0%), ewe-lamb groups (103 groups, 15. 9%), adult male groups (81 groups, 12. 5%) and solitary adult males/females (386 groups, 59. 6%). The average group size was 1. 83 ±1. 45, varying from 1 to 11. The number of individuals per group with the highest frequency was 1 - 3. In general, the frequency of group occurrence and seasonal differences were significant ( P < 0. 001). The seasonal discrepancies in the frequency of different group sizes were also highly significant ( P < 0. 001). However, the mean cluster sizes differed between cool and warm seasons. The results indicated that habitat type is the main factor affecting the cluster size of Capra sibirica, and its population dynamics are affected by seasonal changes of food resources and its reproductive cycle. It is suggested that conservation areas should be established by the local government. Actions such as controlling or transferring some of the livestock within the range of the Capra sibirica distribution, reducing human interference, and improving ecological environment management should be taken into consideration.
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    Three new records of Crocidura anhuiensis for Fujian, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces
    YANG Siyu, XIE Fei, TANG Keyi, FU Changkun, LIU Yang, LIU Shaoying, CHEN Shunde
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 620-625.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150786
    Abstract147)   HTML0)    PDF (12716KB)(75)       Save
    Crocidura anhuiensis was reported as a new species in 2019 with its type locality in Huang Mountain, Anhui Province. In this study, three shrew specimens were collected during field surveys in Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, Dongyang City, Zhejiang Province and Mang Mountain, Hunan Province. According to the morphological and molecular identifications, these specimens were confirmed to be C. anhuiensis, which is a new record for the mammal fauna of Fujian, Zhejiang, and Hunan provinces. This discovery expands the distribution range and enriches the biogeographic data of C. anhuiensis.
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    Habitat suitability evaluation and corridor construction for sika deer ( Cervus nippon hortulorum) in southern Laoyeling, Heilongjiang Province
    WANG Qifan, CHEN Hong, NIU Yingying, ZHANG Zidong, LIANG Zhuo, TIAN Xinmin, ZHANG Minghai, ZHOU Shaochun
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 489-500.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150766
    Abstract147)   HTML7)    PDF (19814KB)(90)       Save
    Sika deer is mainly distributed in southern Laoyeling of Heilongjiang Province, China. In order to protect and recover this species, conducting habitat suitability evaluation and building ecological corridors connecting core habitat patches are the basis for population conservation and recovery of this species in the future. In this study, 763 sika deer occurrence locations were collected by large-sample plot survey and camera monitoring during 2018 - 2021. The habitat suitability of sika deer in the region was evaluated using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model and migration corridors for sika deer were identified and planned using the Least-Cost Path (LCP) analysis method. The contribution of environmental variables to the MaxEnt model indicated that rivers, forest trails, evergreen coniferous forests, roads, and residential areas accounted for 77. 3% to the model cumulatively and were the key factors influencing the distribution of sika deer. The results of the habitat suitability analysis showed that the suitable habitat area of sika deer was 1 055. 62 km 2 in southern Laoyeling, Heilongjiang Province, accounting for 27. 38% of the study area. The suitable habitats were mainly concentrated in the Heilongjiang Muling Taxus National Nature Reserve in the southwestern part and Dongning Chaoyanggou Forestry Farm, Suiyang Sanchahe and Nuanquanhe Forestry Farm in the southeastern part, while the suitable habitats in the central part of the study area were severely fragmented and distributed in strips pattern. The decrease of suitable habitat area and fragmentation may be the key factors influencing negatively the wild sika deer population. Based on the results of the habitat suitability analysis and the distribution of the deer population, four core habitat patches with a total area of 705. 22 km 2 were identified and three ecological corridors with a total length of 84. 43 km and a minimum width of 600 m were delineated for the migration of sika deer. The research results provide scientific basis for the wildlife conservation department to carry out the recovery of wild sika deer population, and serve to accelerate the region's biodiversity conservation in China.
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    Spatial and temporal distribution patterns of mammal diversity in alpine ecosystems: a case study in Xuebaoding area of Giant Panda National Park
    ZHANG Rumei, ZHANG Qing, YANG Xiao, ZHANG Farui, ZHAO Ding, PANG Dehong, YANG Kong, GUAN Tianpei
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 533-543.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150770
    Abstract145)   HTML2)    PDF (2594KB)(74)       Save
    The alpine ecosystem has nurtured special biodiversity due to its unique geographical conditions and is one of the important ecosystem types in the Giant Panda National Park. We summarized data from 83 infrared cameras deployed in Xuebaoding area (3 300 - 4 500 m above sea level) of Giant Panda National Park from April to October 2019 and 2021, and analyzed the diversity and spatio-temporal characteristics of alpine mammals to fill knowledge gaps on alpine ecosystems and support conservation management and scientific research. A total of 2 365 independent photos of mammals were taken, recording 16 species in 9 families and 5 orders. Among the detected species, two are classified as first-class National Protected Wildlife, and 7 are listed as second-class National Protected Wildlife. Of the 16 mammal species, one, four, and two are categorized as Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU), and Nearly Threatened (NT) by the IUCN Red List, respectively. The results show significant spatial and temporal dynamics of mammal diversity in alpine ecosystems. The number of species recorded by a single infrared camera in the growing season (2.80 ±0.16) was significantly higher than that at the start of the growing season (1.15 ±0.14, P < 0.01) and at the end of the growing season (1.51 ±0.13, P < 0.01). Similarly, the relative abundance index of mammals in the growing season (23.52 ±3.05) was significantly higher than that at the start of the growing season (4.75 ±0.74, P < 0.01) and at the end of the growing season (6.56 ±0.98, P < 0.01) according to the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The cumulative number of species ceased to increase after 4 100 m and remained at 16 species. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index ( H') for the whole monitoring area was 2.13, and both the diversity index and relative abundance index (RAI) decreased gradually with increasing altitude. Six mammal species ( Ochotona thibetana, Ochotona erythrotis, Marmota himalayana, Pseudois nayaur, Vulpes vulpes, Mustela altaica) were only recorded in the area above the forest line during the survey compared with the data recorded at 1 800 - 3 200 m, implying that these species are more dependent on the alpine environment. The seasonal utilization of alpine environment by five mammal species, including Sichuan snub-nosed monkey ( Rhinopithecus roxellana), indicates spatio-temporal heterogeneity on species diversity in Xuebaoding area and likely reflects the effects of resource seasonal variation. The use of alpine habitats by forest-dwelling and domesticated animals during the growing season will reduce the habitat suitability of Bharal and threaten the maintenance of endemic biodiversity. Therefore, the Giant Panda National Park should strengthen the protection and management of the alpine ecosystem.
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    Activity rhythm and home range of released sika deer ( Cervus nippon kopschi)
    LI Yaoyu, CHEN Xinyang, ZHAO Shanshan, SONG Xiao, GUO Rui, XU Aichun
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 501-512.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150762
    Abstract136)   HTML0)    PDF (52005KB)(88)       Save
    The release of animals back into the wild is an important way to ensure the long-term survival of threatened middle and large-sized wildlife species in conservation biology. Study on the activity rhythm and home range characteristic of animals released in the wild is conducive to scientific management. In this study, we take sika deer ( Cervus nippon kopschi), Category I Key National Protected Wild Animal Species, as study species. We used Beidou Satellite collar to track activities of released individuals in Qingliangfeng National Nature Reserve of Zhejiang Province. The analysis of its activity rhythm was based on the accumulation of 21 854 high-precision tracking records. We also used the Minimum Convex Polygon method (MCP) and Kernel Density Estimation method (KDE) to study the characteristics of its home range. The results showed that: (1) The daily activity rhythm of sika deer after being released exhibits a bimodal pattern. It peaked in the morning between 06: 00 - 09: 00 and in the evening between 15: 00 - 21: 00. (2) We detected seasonal differences in activity intensity, which was greater in autumn than that in spring, winter, and summer. (3) Home range area is (1534. 10 ±467. 75) hm 2 based on the MCP method. The 95% and 50% home ranges are (125. 18 ±95. 55) hm 2 and (18. 24 ±15. 12) hm 2 based on the KDE method. (4) The home range area (95% KDE) of sika deer is significantly different between seasons ( P < 0. 01), which is maximum in autumn and minimum in summer. (5) The overlap index shows that the average overlap index of male and female (OI = 0. 44) is higher than that of the same sex (OI between male = 0. 38, OI between female = 0. 14), and population competition has a certain influence on the formation of home range. We recommend that the key home range area of sika deer in autumn and winter should be paid more attention in the follow-up management, for example, increasing the frequency of patrols, reducing disturbances, and continuing food feeding in winter.
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