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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
    Abstract713)   HTML6)    PDF (11663KB)(465)       Save
    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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    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
    Abstract654)   HTML19)    PDF (5140KB)(1435)       Save
    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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    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
    Abstract637)   HTML4)    PDF (2712KB)(527)       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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    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
    Abstract490)   HTML25)    PDF (5317KB)(372)       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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    Advances in reproductive isolation mechanisms during animal speciation
    ZHANG Yuxing, WU Hong, YU Li
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 627-643.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150838
    Abstract453)   HTML14)    PDF (4322KB)(696)       Save
    The process of speciation and its mechanism is not only the‘mystery of mysteries’of Darwin, but also a key to understanding the biological diversity in nature, and it is also one of the scientific focuses in the field of evolutionary biology. Speciation refers to the evolutionary process in which a new species diverges from its ancestors, and it is also the process of reproductive isolation or barrier establishment among populations. The exploration and revelation of this process and its inherent genetic mechanism are the key to understanding the phenomenon of biodiversity. By focusing on animal groups, this review systematically describes the ways of reproductive isolation establishment and their molecular mechanisms, then discusses the bottlenecks, challenges and potential opportunities faced by current research on animal reproductive isolations, with a view to providing reference and inspiration for subsequent research on animal speciation.
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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
    Abstract415)   HTML2)    PDF (2073KB)(376)       Save
    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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    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
    Abstract382)   HTML21)    PDF (5745KB)(240)       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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    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
    Abstract368)   HTML2)    PDF (4950KB)(113)       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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    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
    Abstract336)   HTML9)    PDF (2146KB)(214)       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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    Distribution of suitable habitat for ungulates in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou Province
    MENG Bingshun, HUANG Xiaolong, XIE Bo, WANG Weixi, HUANG Jichi, ZHANG Tao, RAN Jingcheng, ZHANG Mingming
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 664-675.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150756
    Abstract324)   HTML6)    PDF (20894KB)(418)       Save
    The spatial distribution of species and habitat suitability play an important role in the research on interspecific relationships, as well as research on relationships between species and environment. We evaluated and predicted the suitable habitats of four ungulates, Elaphodus cephalophus, Muntiacus reevesi, Pricornis milneedwardsii and Sus scrofa, distributed in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve. Species occurrence data was based on the monitoring data by infrared cameras deployed in the study area from 2017 to 2022 and we used MaxEnt to model the suitable habitat for each species. The results showed that (1) the suitable habitats for Elaphodus cephalophus were mainly distributed in the eastern part of the reserve, covering an area of 19 993.17 hm 2, accounting for 46.1% of the protected area. The suitable habitats for Muntiacus reevesi covered an area of 15 470.97 hm 2 ( 35.6% of the protected area), distributed in the northern and southern parts of the reserve. The suitable habitats for Capricornis milneedwardsii were mainly distributed in the northern and eastern parts of the reserve, covering an area of 13 884.78 hm 2 (32.0% of the protected area), and the suitable habitats for Sus scrofa covered an area of 20 339.98 hm 2 (46.9% of the protected area), mainly distributed in the northern, eastern and southern parts of the reserve. (2) The suitable habitats of all four ungulates were mainly distributed in the core area of Fanjingshan Reserve. (3) The distribution of Elaphodus cephalophus was mainly influenced by altitude and vegetation type and the distribution of Capricornis milneedwardsii was mainly influenced by altitude, mean diurnal air temperature range and vegetation type. The characteristics of suitable habitats for Muntiacus reevesi and Sus scrofa were relatively similar, affected by mean diurnal air temperature range, isothermality and slope. In general, the distribution of suitable habitats for these four ungulates in Fanjingshan Reserve was the result of the interaction among the biological properties of species, natural environment, human activities and interspecific relationships. These results provide some insight into habitat suitability characteristics and influencing factors of ungulates in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve.
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    The roles of brown adipose tissue in thermoregulatory mechanisms of hibernators
    SHANG Zhengwen, YANG Ming, WANG Dehua, XING Xin
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 608-619.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150772
    Abstract308)   HTML3)    PDF (7405KB)(181)       Save
    Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a unique organ for adaptive thermogenesis of mammals to maintain constant body temperature. Maintaining a constant body temperature is energy costy, especially in cold environments. Hibernation is an effective energy-saving strategy for some small mammals during periods of scarce food resources and/or harsh environmental conditions. During hibernation, the body temperature of mammalian hibernators shows regular periodic cycles, which are called hibernation bouts. One hibernation bout consists of entrance, deep hibernation, arousal and euthermia. In this revew, we introducs the thermoregulatory mechanism of BAT in mammals, including the neural control of BAT thermogenesis by the central nervous system and the molecular pathways of heat production signals in BAT cells. Subsequently, we follow the order of the thermoregulatory cycle to describe the thermogenic mechanisms of BAT during the processes of entrance, deep hibernation, arousal, and euthermia, including the roles of adrenergic signaling, lipid metabolism, and mitochondrial respiration. Finally, the unique phenotype of BAT recruitment in fat-storing hibernating animals was described.
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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
    Abstract304)   HTML9)    PDF (2594KB)(192)       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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    Application of deep learning in wildlife conservation
    ZHONG Junjie, NIU Bing, CHEN Qin, CHEN Xiang, WANG Yan
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 734-744.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150774
    Abstract303)   HTML1)    PDF (4522KB)(223)       Save
    Wildlife is one of the vital biological resources, but the increasing human activities and environmental degradation pose a severe threat to the survival of wild animals. Deep learning has emerged as a prominent research direction in the field of artificial intelligence and has been widely applied across various disciplines. Its versatility has demonstrated enormous potential in wildlife conservation, particularly in image recognition, monitoring, and audio recognition. This article introduces several common deep learning algorithms, provides an overview of the applications of different deep learning models in wildlife conservation, and analyzes the current issues and challenges, including limited training data, variability of environmental conditions, and the complexity of wildlife behavior. In the future, to employ deep learning for wildlife protection, in addition to addressing challenges such as data acquisition and utilization, and robustness in image recognition against various interferences, it is crucial to develop more robust and efficient deep learning models that cater to the specific requirements of wildlife conservation.
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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
    Abstract301)   HTML4)    PDF (6250KB)(130)       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
    Abstract297)   HTML0)    PDF (12716KB)(147)       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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    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
    Abstract290)   HTML2)    PDF (52005KB)(163)       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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    Population genomic analysis revealed the genetic basis of adaptations to urbanization in the lesser short-nosed fruit bat ( Cynopterus brachyotis)
    WANG Fei, ZHAO Huabin
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 644-651.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150824
    Abstract283)   HTML3)    PDF (3516KB)(174)       Save
    The lesser short-nosed fruit bat ( Cynopterus brachyotis) is a bat species commonly found in urban areas. A published study showed that rapid urbanization has led to a significant decrease in genetic diversity in this fruit bat. However, the genetic mechanisms underlying this species’ adaptations to urban environments have not been investigated. Based on the published population genome resequencing data from historical samples collected in 1931 and contemporary samples from 2011 - 2012, this study investigated the effects of rapid urbanization on the lesser shortnosed fruit bat and the genetic basis of adaptations to urbanization, using four methods (allele frequency analysis, selection signal detection based on population genetic differentiation, selection signal detection based on haplotypes, and detection of selected loci). Our results show that 669 selected genes were identified in the historical population and these genes were functionally enriched in visual and olfactory pathways. In contrast, 2 013 selected genes were identified in the contemporary population and these genes were enriched in immune, gustatory, and auditory pathways in addition to visual and olfactory-related pathways. These results suggest that rapid urbanization may have affected multiple sensory systems and immune systems in this species. Therefore, adaptive molecular evolution of immune, gustatory, and auditory genes may have occurred in C. brachyotis in response to rapid urbanization.
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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
    Abstract276)   HTML9)    PDF (19814KB)(174)       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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    Inhibition of bile acid metabolism in plateau zokor ( Myospalax baileyi) and plateau pika ( Ochotona curzoniae) in high-altitude environments
    ZHANG Jiayu, AN Zhifang, WANG Zhijie, CHEN Xiaoqi, WEI Dengbang
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 553-567.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150805
    Abstract263)   HTML4)    PDF (4247KB)(115)       Save
    The plateau zokor ( Myospalax baileyi) and plateau pika ( Ochotona curzoniae), which are native to the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, inhabit hypoxic meadows that pose unique physiological challenges. Bile acids are amphipathic steroid metabolites that not only facilitate intestinal absorption of lipids and fat-soluble vitamins, but also act as hormones capable of reaching virtually every organ to regulate glycometabolism, lipid metabolism, and energy homeostasis, which are related to the adaptation of animals to the environments. In this study, the composition and contents of bile acids in the serum of plateau zokors and plateau pikas were analyzed by targeting metabolomics. The Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were used as control and the expression levels of the key genes of bile acids anabolism were determined by real-time PCR. The results showed that the total bile acid contents in the serum of plateau zokors and plateau pikas decreased markedly than that of SD rats. With increasing altitude, the bile acid contents of zokors and pikas decreased significantly, and that of zokors reduced remarkably compared to that of pikas. The expression levels of the key genes of primary bile acids including CYP7A1, CYP8B1, CYP27A1, and CYP7B1 decreased significantly in livers of zokors and pikas. The bile acids of SD rats were synthesized by the classic or neutral bile acid pathway, but that of zokors and pikas were produced by the alternative or acidic pathway. These results suggest that high-altitude environments inhibit the anabolism of primary bile acids and that hypoxia might be the main inhibiting factor. The no-12-OH bile acids and the unconjugated secondary bile acids were the main products and the glycine conjugated bile acids were the main bile acids in the serum of zokors and pikas. Particularly, the contents of lithocholic acid (LCA) bile acids were significantly higher than that of pikas and SD rats in serum which might be related to its adaptation to the higher energy expenditure of burrowing activities. In conclusion, the alternative pathway was the dominant pathway of primary bile acids in the liver of zokors and pikas, which might be a result of long-time adaptation to the highland environments.
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    Feeding behavior of sympatric rodents in the Alxa Desert in response to different grazing patterns
    LIU Lina, YUAN Shuai, LI Xin, FU Heping, WU Xiaodong
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 689-701.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150800
    Abstract252)   HTML2)    PDF (12597KB)(118)       Save
    The fragile ecosystem of the Alxa Desert is sensitive to human disturbance and different grazing patterns lead to different vegetation resource types, density, distribution, coverage, substrate and animal perception of predation risk. The feeding differences of desert sympatric rodents under different grazing disturbances are of great significance for the maintenance of biodiversity in desert areas. In 2020, infrared camera trap technology was used to observe the feeding behavior of three dominant rodent species, namely Dipus sagitta, Orientallactaga sibirica, and Meriones meridianus, which coexisted in the same area in the Alax Desert. The results showed that: (1) the population density of the dominant rodent species was positively related to their feeding behavior under different grazing patterns. Grazing increased O. sibirica population density, and its feeding behavior also accounted for more in grazing-intensive habitats. M. meridianus had higher population density and more feeding behavior in habitats with low grazing intensity and high vegetation coverage. D. sagitta devoted more foraging effort in more grazing-intensive habitats. (2) Under the same grazing mode, M. meridianus adopted a combined feeding strategy of ‘foraging + feeding + storage’ , while D. sagitta and O. sibirica adopted the feeding strategy of ‘foraging + feeding’ . These results indicated that the feeding behaviors of rodent species with various feeding strategies were affected by grazing patterns according to changing environmental factors such as rodent population density, habitat vegetation, and soil.
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    Pelage colour change in Hainan gibbon ( Nomascus hainanus)
    ZHU Changyue, ZHONG Xukai, WANG Yuxin, LI Wenyong, QI Xuming, FAN Pengfei
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 1-13.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150809
    Abstract251)   HTML3)    PDF (95947KB)(240)       Save
    All known species of the genus Nomascus have distinct sexual dichromatism in adulthood. The changes in their pelage colour are used as an important indicator of individuals’sexes, ages, and ontogenetic stages. This study is focused on Hainan gibbons ( Nomascus hainanus), the rarest primate in the world, and combines the data of circa 2 years of continuous field observations and previously collected image data to describe the patterns of pelage colour changes over two crucial stages of their life history: natal coats to juvenile pelages and female fur colour changes during sexual maturity. The results show that monitoring and documenting the ‘crest’ traits, the overall fur colour, and the timing of colour change occurring at the different body parts could operatively assist in determining the age group of an individual, estimating the birth season of an infant, and identifying the fertile females in relatively complex environments, especially in dense rainforest. It was found that the development of the pelage colour change of N. hainanus in infancy was more similar to that of Cao Vit gibbon ( Nomascus nasutus). This supports the latest and accepted phylogenetic position of Hainan gibbons. We also discussed the potential interpretations of the adaptation of their pelage colour change. We advocated that the practicable suggestions described in this study should be integrated with automated data collecting systems, which might help increase the efficiency and accuracy of the population monitoring and conservation of the endangered crested gibbons in the future.
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    Spectral characteristics and sex differences in the song of Skywalker hoolock gibbon ( Hoolock tianxing)
    GUO Tingyan, MA Haigang, HAN Pu, WANG Zidi, ZHU Changyue, CHU Yuanmengran, ZHANG Lixiang, LI Ruxue, QI Jiaru, LI Jiahua, FAN Pengfei
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 14-25.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150870
    Abstract249)   HTML5)    PDF (8622KB)(320)       Save
    Species of the genus Hoolock were previously thought to lack sexual dimorphism. Identifying sexual dimorphism in vocalizations is helpful for their population dynamics monitoring and behavioral research. In this study, we annotate the song bouts of 11 Hoolock tianxing individuals. We employed k-medoids clustering to divide note types, and we classified phrase types based on the length and note composition of phrases. We also compared sexual dimorphism in notes and phrases. We identified 5 note types: wa, oo, whoop, ow and eek. The range and rate of frequency modulation of wa and ow notes of females were higher than those of males, the frequency features of oo notes were lower than those of males, the range and rate of frequency modulation of whoop notes were lower than those of males. For the phrases use, solitary apes were more similar to the parts contributed by their respective genders during a chorus. Males seldom sing phrase G mainly composed of the whoop note and the ow note, females seldom sing phrase B (wa-whoop) and phrase C (wa-oo-wa-whoop). Our study demonstrated sexual dimorphism in the vocalizations of Hoolock tianxing, which is not only helpful for the monitoring of Hoolock tianxing, but also important for understanding the function of different note types and sex differences.
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    Dissecting potential mechanisms of lactate-dependent Sertoli cell proliferation and gene expression
    ZHANG Xiaona, JIA Gongxue, WU Shixin, WAN Ruidong, WANG Yujun, YANG Qien
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 568-579.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150778
    Abstract241)   HTML3)    PDF (20814KB)(81)       Save
    Sertoli cells proliferate in fetal and neonatal testes and remain quiescent in adult life. Functional evidence suggests that the size of the Sertoli cell population determines sperm production and fertility. However, the factors that regulate Sertoli cell proliferation and maturation are not fully understood. Lactate, which is secreted by Sertoli cells via lactate dehydrogenase, plays a critical role in cell fate determination. We found that Ldha mRNA is present in mouse testes and immunohistochemical staining confirmed that LDHA is enriched in Sertoli cells. To study the function of LDHA in Sertoli cells, we prepared a conditional knockout mouse model using Amh-Cre and Ldha fl/fl mice. The results showed that LDHA deficiency resulted in a significant reduction in the number of Sertoli cells, which was (18. 27 ±0. 60) /cell in Ldha-cKO mice compared to (21. 1 ±0. 68) /cell in control mice. Further analysis revealed that the proliferative capacity of Sertoli cells in Ldha-cKO mice decreased by 17. 0% and 9. 0% at Embryonic day 16. 5 and Day 0, respectively, while cell apoptosis increased by 86. 9% and 459. 0%, respectively. After incubation with 10 mmol/L lactic acid for 24 h, 936 significantly differentially expressed genes were identified in Sertoli cells of the knockout mouse, of which 695 were upregulated and 241 were downregulated. GO and KEGG enrichment analyses revealed that the MAPK pathway and PI3K-AKT signaling pathway were upregulated, while DNA replication and oxidative phosphorylation were downregulated. Hence, it can be concluded that LDHA is expressed in mouse Sertoli cells and plays an important role in regulating Sertoli cell proliferation.
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    Ontogeny and the influencing factors of bite force and feeding rate of giant pandas ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
    SUN Mengmeng, YAN Xiao, LI Feng, TANG Yong, ZHANG Xinxing, DONG Chao, HUANG Shengjie, ZHENG Yuanming, LUO Yong, ZHOU Shiqiang
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (2): 135-145.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150781
    Abstract235)   HTML24)    PDF (3796KB)(282)       Save
    The biting ability of giant pandas ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca) holds significant importance in terms of food acquisition and male-male competition. Their distinctive dietary preferences and masticatory system render them an ideal species for investigating bite forces. Nevertheless, current studies have predominantly relied on theoretical assessments derived from panda skull morphology, with no empirical animal experimentation conducted. The present study designed a force transducer specifically tailored for giant pandas, and measured body weight, bite forces, and feeding rate in a sample of 46 individuals from various age groups, with a particular focus on juvenile development. The results showed that bite forces at the tip of the incisor of juvenile giant pandas increased rapidly during the dental transitional period, as well as the feeding rate of bamboo shoots. At the end of the dental transitional phase, the bite forces exerted at the incisor point of juvenile giant pandas continued to display a growing trend, albeit at a decelerated rate. Concurrently, the feeding rate reached a state of equilibrium. The utilization of a logistic model revealed that age explains 87.56% of the variance observed in the feeding rate among juvenile pandas. As for the comparisons of age groups, the median bite force value exhibited an upward trajectory in tandem with increasing age. The bite force of 8-month to 12-month age group was significantly lower than the bite forces of all the other age groups; the bite force of 13-month to 18-month age group was significantly lower than those of sub-adult, adults and geriatric group; however, there was no significant difference between the latter three groups. The adult group has the highest feeding rate of bamboo shoots and carrots, followed successively by the sub-adult group, the geriatric groups and the juvenile group. In summary, our study confirmed for the first time the feasibility of measuring bite forces of giant pandas by using force transducer, recorded the developmental process of bite forces and feeding rate of juvenile giant pandas during the dental transitional period, and discussed the effect of age on bite forces and feeding rate, all of which laying a good foundation for future work of giant pandas’ feeding ecology.
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    New records of Paguma larvata in Liaoning Province, China
    ZHANG Lei, CHANG Jin, FENG Chaofan, WAN Dongmei
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 760-700.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150815
    Abstract228)   HTML4)    PDF (4273KB)(136)       Save
    Paguma larvata is mainly distributed in the central and southern regions in China. It is listed as a near-threatened species in the Red List of China’ s Vertebrates. In the past, there were no records of distribution of this species Liaoning Province. During the camera trapping survey of animal diversity in the Qinglonghe, Bailangshan, and Wuhuading National Nature Reserves in the western region of Liaoning, 215 independent detections of Paguma larvata were captured by camera-trapping with 584 photographs and 106 video clips from January 2022 to May 2023. These image data represent the first record of Paguma larvata in Liaoning Province, which not only plays an important role in the study of biodiversity and species integrity in this province but also provides the basic data for the distribution of Paguma larvata in China.
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    Effect of exposure to high temperature on energy metabolism and oxidative stress in striped hamsters
    ZHANG Ruihan, LUO Dan, LUO Xinxin, HU Chenxiao, LIN Long, CHEN Qian, CAO Jing, ZHAO Zhijun
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 710-722.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150822
    Abstract223)   HTML0)    PDF (2899KB)(128)       Save
    The adaptive regulation of animal energy metabolism affects life history characteristics such as growth, development, reproduction, and aging. Metabolic rate and tissue mitochondrial respiration rate are related to free radical levels, which are important factors influencing the aging of the organism. In this study, we investigated the intrinsic link among energy metabolism, tissue respiration rates of major metabolically active organs, free radical levels, and antioxidant capacity in response to high ambient temperature. We used as a model species striped hamsters ( Cricetulus barabensis) that were previously acclimated to room temperature (21 ℃) and warm temperature (32.5 ℃) for 4 weeks and then were acutely exposed to extremely high temperature (37 ℃) for 48 h. The energy intake, metabolic rate, body temperature, mitochondrial respiration rate, and uncoupling protein (UCP) gene ( ucp) expression of brown adipose tissue (BAT), liver and skeletal muscle were measured. The levels of protein carbonyl and malondialdehyde (MDA), and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were also determined. The results showed that the acclimation to 32.5℃ and acute exposure to 37℃ resulted in significant reductions in gross and digestive energy intake, basal metabolic rate, and non-shivering thermogenesis. Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity was reduced after acclimation to 32.5℃ by 84.2%, 50.0%, and 56.6% in BAT, liver, and muscle, respectively. The liver COX activity decreased further by 23.3% after exposure to 37℃, but COX activity in BAT and muscle was not significantly changed. The acute exposure to 37℃ deceased BAT ucp1 expression by 89.5%, liver ucp2 by 76.2%, and muscle ucp3 by 58.8% in the hamster previously acclimated to 21℃, but it had no significant effect on the gene expression in the hamsters previously acclimated to 32.5℃. Acclimation to 32.5℃ significantly decreased MDA levels in heart, lung, kidney, and muscle, but not in liver and brain, and it significantly increased protein carbonyl levels in the kidney only. Acute exposure to 37℃ significantly reduced protein carbonyl levels in liver and heart, but it had no significant effect on MDA levels in all tissues. In addition, acclimation to 32.5℃ significantly reduced SOD activity in liver and muscle, but did not affect heart, lung, kidney, or brain; and it decreased GSH-Px activity in heart, lung, and kidney, but increased GSH-Px activity in muscle, and had no effect in liver. These findings suggest that (1) the effects of acute exposure to high temperatures on energy metabolism and mitochondrial respiration rate are related to habitat ambient temperature, with the animals at lower ambient temperature being more affected by high temperature; (2) after being acclimated to the warm and acutely exposed to high temperature, the metabolic rate of the organism and mitochondria respiratory decreased, while the liver, heart, lung, kidneys, skeletal muscle, and brain do not show considerable oxidative stress and damage, being inconsistent with the‘free radical hypothesis’ .
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    Advances in personality research in non-human primates
    LI Nianlong, ZHAO Haitao, LI Wei, WANG Xiaowei, WANG Chengliang, MOU Junjie, LI Baoguo
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 118-128.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150747
    Abstract212)   HTML4)    PDF (1428KB)(144)       Save
    The study of personality has deepened people’s understanding of individual differences and social organization patterns among group-living animals, making it a hot topic for primatologists and providing new avenues for studying the intersection of social psychology and behavioral ecology. This paper briefly summarizes the definitions, assessment methods, and advances in current primate personality research. Notably, this paper discusses the mechanism of personality formation in terms of hormonal changes, loci-specific differences, and environmental conditions, as well as the function of personality in individual health and cognition, to enhance primate welfare and management. Further exploration of behavioral ecology theoretical questions related to the personalities of primate species is needed. Researchers also need to further explore the personalities and behavioral patterns of individuals in the wild, suggesting in-depth studies on sexual selection, community structure, and spatial dynamics to effectively propose new concepts for endangered species conservation.
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    Preliminary analysis of the molecular phylogeography of Sorex unguiculatus and Sorex gracillimus
    MEI Xiufeng, CAI He, HAN Meifeng, ZHAO Xinxu, ZHANG Chunfeng, SHI Yanjing, CHEN Huan, TIAN Xinmin, ZHANG Junsheng, LIU Zhu
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 702-709.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150699
    Abstract206)   HTML0)    PDF (2612KB)(109)       Save
    In order to clarify the population phylogeographic relationship and subspecies differentiation of Sorex unguiculatus and Sorex gracillimus, this study analyzed the Cyt b gene sequences of S. unguiculatus (11 samples) and S. gracillimus (17 samples) collected from Northeast China together with Cyt b gene sequences of S. unguiculatus (32 samples) and S. gracillimus (22 samples) downloaded from GenBank. The different geographical populations of the two species showed different geographical patterns. In the phylogenetic tree of S. unguiculatus, there was no correlation between molecular system relation and geographical distribution. In the phylogenetic tree of S. gracillimus, samples from Northeast China were clustered into a separate clade apart from samples from Russia and Hokkaido, Japan. A similar geographical pattern was also observed in the Median-joining network analysis. Neutral tests supported S. unguiculatus has experienced population expansions in the recent past, but S. gracillimus has not experienced dramatic population expansions. The results also supported that S. unguiculatus has no subspecies differentiation. On the other hand, we found that S. gracillimus was divided into two subspecies across the geographic area of this study, one subspecies distributed in Northeast China and the other subspecies distributed in the Russian Far East (from southern Magadan to Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin Island included) and Hokkaido, Japan.
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    Effects of fostering methods on the growth and development of giant panda cubs with different birth weight
    WU Kai, LAI Jiaying, WEI Ming, ZHANG Yahui, ZENG Xianyin, WEI Rongping, CAO Xiao-han, HU Zhengquan, ZENG Wen, WANG Chengdong, KONG Fanli
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (2): 217-223.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150705
    Abstract202)   HTML5)    PDF (2138KB)(134)       Save
    In this study, 80 giant panda cubs born between 2012 and 2019 were selected to systematically study the effects of birth weight ([50, 100) g, n = 7; [100, 150) g, n = 25; [150, 200) g, n = 37; [200, 250) g, n = 11), fostering method (female feeding, n = 12; artificial feeding, n = 10; artificial and female alternate feeding, n = 58) and fetal litter size (single, n = 14, and twins, n = 66) on the growth and development of the cubs. We collected the daily gain, milk feeding amount, and eye and ear development during the early development of the cubs (from 0 to 120 days). The results showed that the birth weight of singleton pups was significantly higher than that of twin pups ( P < 0. 05). We also found that the early growth and development of pups are closely related to their cub-fostering methods and birth weight ( R 2 > 0. 973 7). The greater the birth weight of the pups, the greater the growth rate. The lighter the birth weight of the cubs, the lower the shrinkage, but the higher ratio of shrinkage to its birth weight. In addition, the lighter the birth weight of pups, the lower the developmental status of their ears and eyes. In conclusion, our study provides a theoretical basis on the selection of and the improvement of cub-fostering methods for the giant panda.
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    The impact of climate on the birth pattern of Rhinopithecus roxellana in different regions
    LU Zhantao, LAN Guanwei, LI Ruiyuan, SI Xurui, LIU Xingyu, MO Cheng, YAO Hui, QI Dun, XIANG Zuofu
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 26-36.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150858
    Abstract190)   HTML4)    PDF (1821KB)(113)       Save
    The mating and reproduction of most non-human primates undergo strict seasonality, which are not only influenced by their own reproductive mechanisms, but also by the climate, altitude, and food supply in their habitats. Understanding the seasonal differences in the birth of the same primate species residing in different regions can help identify the impact of environmental variables on animal reproduction. From January 2023 to August 2023, by using focal animal sampling, we analyzed the relationship between climate and birth season in two groups of habituated Rhinopithecus roxellana populations in the Sichuan Baihe National Reserve (Baihe group) and the Dalongtan area in the Hubei Shennongjia National Park (Shennongjia group), China. The results showed that births occurred mainly between March and May in the two populations, but a few individuals were born in January, February, July, and August in the Baihe group. The birth patterns of the two groups were different, but the birth events were all distributed during periods of warming temperatures and rising precipitation. We detected a positive correlation between the weekly changes in infant / adult female values (I / F) and the weekly average temperature and precipitation in the Baihe group. The weekly variation of infant / adult female values (I / F) in the Shennongjia group is positively correlated with the weekly average temperature, but the correlation with weekly precipitation is not significant. The increase in temperature may be a factor in promoting the environmental response of pregnant female monkeys to childbirth, while precipitation can trigger reproductive events by affecting the food supply.
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    Prokaryotic expression system construction, antibody preparation and tissues distribution of bactrian camel TLR1
    XIE Dongxu, ZHANG Rui, Suonanji, LIU Kejiang, WANG Tingwei, WANG Wenhui
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 745-752.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150780
    Abstract189)   HTML0)    PDF (24011KB)(44)       Save
    In this study, we used bioinformatics software to analyze the TLR1 (Toll-like receptors 1) gene and used a prokaryotic expression system to inducibly express TLR1 recombinant plasmids into TLR1 protein. Rabbit polyclonal antibactrian camel TLR1 antibody was generated using the expressed recombinant TLR1 protein, and the expression of TLR1 in organs including bactrian camel heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney was detected by HE staining coupled with immunohistochemical staining of SABC using the prepared TLR1 polyclonal antibody. The size of the protein of interest obtained in this study was 62 kDa, which was the same as predicted by bioinformatics software. TLR1 recombinant protein was mainly expressed in the form of inclusion bodies. In this study, the titer of the TLR1 antibody was determined by indirect ELISA, which showed that the antibody titer result was 1∶ 64 000, and the specificity of the TLR1 antibody was confirmed by Western blot analysis. The results of the present trial of HE staining with immunohistochemical staining of SABC showed that TLR1 was upregulated in cardiomyocytes of bactrian camel hearts, Kupffer cells of the liver, monocytes/macrophages of the spleen, the respiratory bronchiolar epithelium, and type Ⅰ and type Ⅱ alveolar cells of the lung. A positive reaction appeared on the epithelial cells of the distal convoluted tubule of the kidney. In conclusion, the rabbit anti-bactrian camel TLR1 polyclonal antibody has good specificity and can be used for immunohistochemical detection of TLR1 and provides a basis for further investigation of the function of TLR1 in different tissues and organs of bactrian camels.
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    The expression profile of miRNA in the different tissues of forest musk deer ( Moschus berezovskii)
    YU Miaojie, XU Zhongxian, JIANG Xuemei, WANG Chunhua, ZHAO Chanjuan, QI Wenhua, JIE Hang
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (6): 723-733.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150744
    Abstract185)   HTML1)    PDF (4155KB)(111)       Save
    Forest musk deer ( Moschus berezovskii) is a medicinal economic species and the musk secreted by the male musk deer is an important component of Chinese patent medicine and perfume, which has high medicinal and economic value. miRNAs play an important role in animal cell development, differentiation, apoptosis, and disease development, which are selectively expressed in different tissues. The heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and muscle tissues of forest musk deer were high-throughput sequenced by using RNA-seq technology on the Hi-seq 2500 sequencing platform. The microRNA expression of these 6 tissues was analyzed by using biostatistics and bioinformatics methods and RT-qPCR was used to verify the sequencing results. The results showed that 1 650 miRNAs co-expressed in the heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and muscle tissues of forest musk deer, of which there were 86, 54, 44, 68, 83, and 50 specific miRNAs, respectively ( P < 0.01). The expression levels of co-expressed miRNAs were significantly different in these six types of tissues ( P < 0.05) and the expression levels of some specific miRNAs in the heart were much higher than that in other tissues. KEGG analysis showed that the target genes of specific miRNAs in the liver of forest musk deer were closely related to the Wnt signaling pathway (ko04310), cAMP signaling pathway (ko04024), ECM-receptor interaction (ko04512), Notch signaling pathway (ko04330), and AMPK signaling pathway (ko04152) ( P < 0.01). Nine miRNAs were randomly selected for verification with RT-qPCR in liver tissue of health and abscess forest musk deer and the results were consistent with the sequencing results.
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    Preliminary study on the diversity of medium and large-sized mammals and pheasants at Chuxiong sub-region, Yunnan Ailaoshan National Nature Reserve
    YIN Guanghua, QIN Zhongyi, LUO Wenfu, LU Lixiong, LI Han, GAO Wenjun, XU Ping, LI Qianen, YIN Cunquan, LI Genhui, ZHANG Zhiqiang, LI Yuwu, LIU Dong, JI-ANG Xuelong, LI Xueyou
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (2): 237-246.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150751
    Abstract177)   HTML15)    PDF (4717KB)(147)       Save
    Between March 2020 and May 2022, we conducted a systematic camera-trapping survey to understand the diversity of medium and large-sized mammals and pheasants at Chuxiong Prefecture sub-region of Yunnan Ailaoshan National Nature Reserve. We set 153 camera traps along 1 km ×1 km grids, with a total trapping effort of 59 623 days, which yielded 9 309 independent records of wildlife species. A total of 23 medium and large-sized terrestrial mammals and seven pheasant species were observed: 14 families of 5 orders for mammals and 1 family of 1 order for pheasants. Of which, three and 14 species were listed as Class One and Class Two protected species respectively by the Chinese muntjac ( Muntiacus vaginalis, RAI = 7. 52), tufted deer ( Elaphodus cephalophus, RAI = 2. 43),wild boar ( Susscrofa, RAI = 2. 39), macaque( Macaca mulatta, RAI = 2. 26) and Malayan porcupine ( Hystrix brachyura, RAI = 2. 16). Species rank-abundance curve showed that species in the first three ranks were the northern red muntjac, wild boar, and silver pheasant Lophura nycthemera, which together contributed to 65% of the accumulative abundance of the whole community. In addition, our camera-trapping survey recorded numerous human-related inerference such as livestock grazing, indicating that the reserve is under some levels of anthropogenic disturbance. Overall, our first systematic camera-trapping survey provides basic information on the diversity of medium and large-sized mammals and pheasants at Chuxiong Prefecture sub-region of Yunnan Ailaoshan National Nature Reserve. Such knowledge is important for local wildlife biodiversity management and conservation. Wildlife Conservation Law. The five species with the highest relative abundance indices (RAI) were the northern red
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    Preliminary study on the conflict behavior between sympatric Hainan gibbons and rhesus macaques in the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest
    CAI Chenglin, LIU Shuai, LI Ping, QI Xuming, ZHOU Zhaoli, CHEN Yuan, LONG Wenxing
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 129-134.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150855
    Abstract177)   HTML4)    PDF (2455KB)(128)       Save
    Understanding the pattern and the process of interspecific competition among sympatric animals is important, as interspecific competition is a key factor limiting population increase and is of great significance for conservation management. Hainan gibbon ( Nomascus hainanus) is one of the most endangered primates in the world, currently distributed only in the Bawangling area of National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest, Hainan, China. Rhesus macaque ( Macaca mulatta) population, a common species in this area, is growing rapidly in recent years, which may lead to interspecific competition with Hainan gibbons. In this study, we used focal animal sampling and whole-event recording methods to investigate the conflict behavior between one gibbon group (Group E) and one macaque group. Based on the observation of individuals and food patches, we inferred the recorded conflict behavior between these two species was a case of interference competition. Our results provided an important case for understanding the processes and mechanisms of primate interspecific relationships. This study emphasizes that the effects of interspecific competition should be fully recognized in the conservation management of endangered species.
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    Sexual interference in Taihangshan macaque ( Macaca mulatta tcheliensis), Jiyuan, north China
    HAN Mengya, TIAN Jundong, ZHOU Yanyan, WANG Yuwei, LUO Tongtong, LU Jiqi
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 65-76.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150818
    Abstract175)   HTML0)    PDF (3313KB)(115)       Save
    Sexual interference refers to the phenomenon in which an animal is disrupted during mating by other individuals of the same species through various means such as chemical pheromones, facial expressions, sounds, and aggression. Sexual interference behavior, a significant topic in ecological studies of reproductive behavior in non-human primates, exhibits considerable inter- and intraspecific variation. Within species, it is primarily influenced by factors such as sex and age. The present study was conducted in the Wulongkou area of Taihangshan Macaque National Nature Reserve, focusing on the WLK-1A group of Taihangshan macaques. From September 2021 to August 2022, we observed and recorded the mating behaviors of the target individuals by using the focal animal sampling method and the continuous recording method with the expectation of exploring the sexual interference behaviors and their age-sex group differences in Taihangshan macaques. The results showed that (1) sexual interference behavior of Taihangshan macaques only occurred in the mating period, with the peak in November; (2) From the perspective of the initiators of sexual interference, male (adult and sub-adult) individuals accounted for 29. 1%, female (adult and sub-adult) individuals accounted for 14. 9%, juvenile individuals accounted for 7. 5%, and infant individuals accounted for 48. 5%; (3) Both male ( P =0. 011) and female ( P = 0. 033) interrupters used mainly non-contact harassment, while there was no significant difference between the non-contact and contact harassment in juvenile interrupters ( P = 0. 334), and infant interrupters used mainly contact harassment ( P = 0. 001); (4) Male interrupters tended to interrupt the females in the mating pairs ( P = 0. 040). There was no significant difference in the harassment frequency of female interrupters toward males and females of the mating pairs ( P = 0. 157). Sexual interference by juveniles mostly pointed to their mothers (90%) and that by infants all pointed to their mothers. The frequencies, patterns, and targets of sexual interference in Taihangshan macaques show age-sex group differences. Based on functional analysis, this study concludes that sexual interference in both adult males and females supports the sexual competition hypothesis, that in juveniles supports the learning hypothesis, and that in infants supports the separation anxiety hypothesis and learning hypothesis. The results of this study help increase the understanding of the development of sexual interference behavior and its functional differences in non-human primates.
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    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2023, 43 (5): 626-626.  
    Abstract175)   HTML5)    PDF (1234KB)(354)       Save
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    The body weight of wild Tibetan macaques ( Macaca thibetana) and its influencing factors
    SUN Yu, XIA Mengyi, XIA Yingna, WANG Jingjing, LU Jiakai, LIU Shenqi, XIA Dongpo, WANG Xi, SUN Binghua
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 94-102.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150861
    Abstract174)   HTML1)    PDF (2688KB)(80)       Save
    Body weight is an important indicator of primate life history and growth and development characteristics, which can suggest information about the physiological condition, behavioral changes, and ecological adaptations of animals. In this study, we monitored the body weights of 48 Tibetan macaques ( Macaca thibetana) from the YA1 group in the Wild Monkey Valley of Huangshan Mountain, Anhui Province, for 11 consecutive months (July 2022 to May 2023) using floor scales. The mean body weight of male Tibetan macaques (18. 71 ± 2. 33) kg was significantly higher than that of females (11. 79 ± 1. 97) kg, and the rapid development of body weight occurred between 3 and 5 years old in males and between 2 and 3 years old in females. There was a significant positive correlation between body weight and individual social rank in both adult males and females ( P <0. 001). There was significant seasonal variation ( P <0. 05) in body weights of adult Tibetan macaques, with both males and females having their highest body weights in autumn, but males having their lowest body weights in winter and females having their lowest body weights in spring. The body weights of non-pregnant individuals did not differ significantly between seasons, whereas the body weights of pregnant individuals decreased significantly ( P <0. 05) from winter to spring. The present study showed that there was a significant male-female dimorphism in body weight, a significant differentiation in the rapid developmental period of immature body weight, and a significant effect of both season and social rank on body weight in Tibetan macaques.
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    The relationship between grooming behavior and parasite infections in wild Tibetan macaques
    ZHANG Jie, CHEN Shiwang, TIAN Hongwei, SUN Binghua, WANG Xi, XIA Dongpo
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 50-57.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150856
    Abstract174)   HTML3)    PDF (7270KB)(89)       Save
    Social grooming is the most extensive and frequent social interaction pattern within non-human primates, while accumulating evidence points that social grooming is not a low-cost investment given the potential health risks associated with parasite infection during the grooming process. This study aimed to investigate the potential health costs of social grooming by estimating the associations between the amount of social grooming given and the type and infection risk of parasites in wild Tibetan macaques ( Macaca thibetana) in MT. Huangshan, Anhui Province, China. Our results showed that a total of 11 species of parasites were found, the highest risk of infection is the Capillaria spp. / Trichostrongylus spp. and Balantidium coli (93%), followed by the Trichuris trichura (54%). As the durations of social grooming initiated increased, the higher the risk of infection with Balantidium coli, while the risk of infection with Ascaris spp. decreased with the increase in social grooming received. In addition, we noted that the risk of infection with Balantidium coli also showed an increasing tendency with the node strength increase in social grooming networks. In general, our results provided empirical evidence for the risk of parasite infections in wild Tibetan macaques, while also offering a new perspective on the trade-off between the benefits and costs of social grooming in non-human primate societies.
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    Individual identification and genetic diversity of Eurasian otters based on microsatellite markers
    ZHENG Kaidan, WANG Qiaoyun, FAN Pengfei, HAN Xuesong, XIAO Mei, SHEN Limin, DONG Zhengyi, ZHANG Lu
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (2): 146-158.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150814
    Abstract170)   HTML6)    PDF (4834KB)(180)       Save
    Population size and genetic diversity are important basic information for threatened species conservation. As a Class II protected animal, Eurasian otter ( Lutra lutra) was once widely distributed in China, but has experienced severe population decline and range shrinkage over the 20th century. However, only a few studies have been conducted on Eurasian otters in China. Basic research such as population surveys and genetic diversity studies are urgently needed. We collected 270 otter spraints for DNA extraction during 2019-2020 in Yushu City, Qinghai Province and Qingchuan County, Guangyuan City, Sichuan Province. We used 9 microsatellite loci and the SRY gene to genotype individuals and identify sex. Then we estimated the sizes of the two populations based on individual identification and noninvasive capturerecapture method (Capwire). We also assessed their genetic diversity based on the nine microsatellite markers. We successfully genotyped 67 spraints (24. 8%) with 7 - 9 microsatellites and identified 40 otter individuals. Among them, 10 were from Yushu and 30 were from Qingchuan, with a sex ratio of 4F/5M and 15F/14M respectively. Sex identification failed for two individuals. The estimated population of otters within our study area was 13 (95% CI: 7 - 21) in Yushu City and 75 (95% CI: 59-133) in Qingchuan County. The average observed heterozygosity ( H O) and expected heterozygosity ( H E) of the Yushu population were 0. 680 and 0. 611, while those of the Qingchuan population were 0. 664 and 0. 658, revealing a moderate genetic diversity. Otters in Yushu and Qingchuan have been differentiated significantly ( F ST = 0. 238) and no significant inbreeding was found in both populations ( F IS: Yushu -0. 121, Qingchuan -0. 010). As the first study estimating population size and genetic diversity of Eurasian otters based on fecal DNA in Chinese mainland, our work provides important basic information for otter conservation in China.
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    Sleeping tree species selection and patterns of sleeping site use in a wild group of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys ( Rhinopithecus bieti) at Jinsichang, Lijiang, China
    REN Baoping, WU Ruidong, LI Dayong, Paul A. Garber, LI Ming
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2024, 44 (1): 37-49.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150813
    Abstract165)   HTML3)    PDF (15492KB)(97)       Save
    Studies of sleeping site use in wild primates offer insights into species-specific patterns of ranging and habitat utilization. From December 2003 to October 2004, we recorded sleeping site use in a wild group of 180 Yunnan snubnosed monkeys ( Rhinopithecus bieti) at Jinsichang, Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, China. A programmed auto-released GPS collar was used to track the movements of the monkeys. We obtained 272 GPS nighttime locations and visually confirmed 131 sleeping sites within the group’s 17. 8 km 2 home range. Seventy (53. 4%) sleeping sites were used on only one occasion, whereas the remaining 61 (46. 6%) were used between 2 and 9 times over the 11-month tracking period. On three occasions the monkeys slept in the same site during three consecutive nights and on 16 occasions they reused the same sleeping site on two consecutive nights. Re-use of sleeping areas over consecutive nights accounted for only 7. 0% of our sample and principally occurred during the winter months of November-April (84. 0% compared to the rest of the year). The average time interval between the reuse of the same sleeping site was 50 days. Daily travel distance was significantly shorter (527 m vs. 884 m) when sleeping sites were reused on consecutive nights. Sleeping sites of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys were used in relation to their proximity to late afternoon and next day early morning feeding sites. Given the large size of the snub-nosed monkey group, we argue that limited reuse of sleeping sites represents a pattern of habitat exploitation characterized by the avoidance of recently visited areas and a foraging strategy of searching for scattered but highly productive feeding sites that are widely distributed across their home range. Furthermore, the monkeys highly selected Himalayan hemlock ( Tsuga dumosa) as sleeping trees and rarely fed in trees that were used as sleep nighttime sleeping sites.
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