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    Impacts of human interference on the potential distribution of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys by MaxEnt model
    Tianlu QIAN, Shujie QIN, Zhaoning WU, Changbai XI, Jiechen WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 349-361.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150608
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    Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are rare and precious primates, endemic to China. Predicting the habitat range, evaluating the influence of human activities, and assessing conservation gaps are important for the conservation of this species. Based on 78 occurrence records of Yunnan snub-nosed monkey and 11 environmental variables (including 7 natural variables and 4 human variables), we use the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) and spatial analysis technology to construct potential suitable habitat models for Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys with and without human interference. Travel big data was used to estimate human travel density and included in the analyses as one of the human variables. The results showed that: (1) The model has achieved an accurate prediction. The human travel density properly reflects the human interferences on habitat. (2) The area of highly suitable habitat for Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys is 3 487.28 km2. The four main factors that affect the potential distribution of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys are altitude, annual precipitation, human travel density, and distance to roads. (3) Human activities have a negative impact on habitat, among which human travel density has the strongest impact. Human interferences lead to a 9.32% decrease of suitable habitats compared to that with natural environment only. 78.8% of the study area is under the influence of human activities. (4) Three of 15 existing habitat patches of Yunnan snub-nosed monkey groups are facing serious human interference while having high suitability, which can be key conservation areas. The habitat suitability curves become stable when the distance to residents and roads is 2 500 m or further, indicating a potential buffer distance in species conservation. It is of practical significance for conservation to reduce the intensity of human disturbance in these areas.

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    Timing and synchrony of births in reintroduced Père David’s deer ( Elaphurus davidianus)
    Qinghui MENG, Chao BAI, Yuan SONG, Yunfang SHAN, Junfang LI, Shumiao ZHANG, Jiade BAI, Zhenyu ZHONG, Chenglin ZHANG, Xiuxiang MENG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 379-386.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150462
    Abstract1660)   HTML34)    PDF (2088KB)(1502)       Save

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

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    Research advances in conservation genetics and genomics of snow leopard ( Panthera uncia)
    Yubo HAO, Hong JIN, Lin YANG, Kexin LI, Yibo HU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 508-518.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150687
    Abstract1615)      PDF (1521KB)(1529)       Save

    The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) (Carnivora, Felidae, Panthera) is a flagship species distributed in the Qinghai?Tibet Plateau and surrounding regions. With the development of molecular biology and high-throughput sequencing technology, snow leopard conservation genetics and conservation genomics have developed rapidly. Noninvasive genetic sampling has provided genetic samples and facilitated the conservation genetics research of snow leopards. In this review, we summarize the application of noninvasive genetic sampling in species identification, individual identification and sex determination of snow leopards, the phylogenetic status, phylogeographic pattern, population genetic structure, and subspecies controversies in snow leopards. Furthermore, the evolutionary history, adaptive evolution, and genome characteristics of snow leopards are reviewed. Finally, we discuss the future development trends of snow leopard conservation genetics and genomics, aiming to better promote snow leopard conservation biology research and science-based conservation decisions.

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    Genetic diversity and demographic history of Siberian flying squirrel ( Pteromys volans) population in northern Zhangguangcai Mountains, Heilongjiang, China
    Xinmin TIAN, Mingdong LIAN, Yaqi SONG, Xiaohui LIU, Mengping YANG, Hong CHEN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 398-409.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150629
    Abstract1574)   HTML88)    PDF (3369KB)(1532)       Save

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

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    Research advances in conservation and management of endangered mammals on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Tongzuo ZHANG, Feng JIANG, Bo XU, Bin LI, Chengbo LIANG, Haifeng GU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 490-507.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150696
    Abstract1511)   HTML50)    PDF (1607KB)(1575)       Save

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

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    Giant panda pose estimation method based on high resolution net
    Yu QI, Han SU, Rong HOU, Peng LIU, Peng CHEN, Hangxing ZANG, Zhihe ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 451-460.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150639
    Abstract1481)   HTML33)    PDF (26442KB)(1444)       Save

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

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    Status of human-Asiatic black bear conflicts in surrounding communities of Baoshan area in Yunnan Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve
    Yunrui JI, Liushuan ZHANG, Xiangyuan HUANG, Jianyan TANG, Zengshuai LIU, Jiahua LI, Weichun YANG, Diqiang LI, Fang LIU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 387-397.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150623
    Abstract1479)   HTML29)    PDF (2187KB)(1562)       Save

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

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    Density estimation and suitable habitat prediction of Indo-Pacific finless porpoise in the Beibu Gulf
    Xiangyao MENG, Huazhi WANG, Yu ZHOU, Hongke ZHANG, Ying QIAO, Bingyao CHEN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 362-369.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150634
    Abstract1429)   HTML182)    PDF (8848KB)(1322)       Save

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

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    The first image record of Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx) in Yunnan Province
    Guangxu HUANG, Junjie LI, Yinlei DU, Wen ZHANG, Zhipang HUANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 471-474.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150640
    Abstract1413)   HTML34)    PDF (19413KB)(1559)       Save

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

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

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

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    Physiological Ecology of Small Mammals in Qinghai‒Tibetan Plateau: from individual to ecosystem
    Dehua WANG, Zuwang WANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 482-489.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150722
    Abstract1309)   HTML33)    PDF (1404KB)(1415)       Save

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

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    Viewpoints of the wildlife conservation biology research on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Fuwen WEI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 475-476.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150734
    Abstract1287)   HTML44)    PDF (1188KB)(1488)       Save

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

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    Camera-trapping survey on large and medium-sized mammal diversity in the Xiaoxiangling Mountains
    Hong CHEN, Shengnan JI, Kan ZHANG, Dayong WANG, Jie HU, Yanhong LI
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 461-470.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150611
    Abstract1282)   HTML36)    PDF (27683KB)(1665)       Save

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Fecal microbiota diversity analysis of the diarrheal sub-adult Qaidam horses and biomarkers screening
    Xiaoqi WANG, Wenjing HAO, Zhichao ZHANG, Jing HAN, Rujing WANG, Ziyuan DUAN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (4): 432-441.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150637
    Abstract1190)   HTML18)    PDF (3799KB)(1357)       Save

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

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

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

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

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

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    Grassland degradation affects serum total IgG level, intestinal parasitic infection and liver and kidney indices of plateau pika
    Xueqin WU, Huiqing CHEN, Lu ZHANG, Guozhen SHANG, Yan WU, Jianghui BIAN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 531-539.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150715
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    As a key species in the alpine grassland ecosystem of the Qinghai?Tibet Plateau, the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) population increased rapidly with grassland degradation. Understanding the changes in innate immune function and organ index of liver and kidney indices of plateau pika is of great significance for further revealing the physiological mechanism of plateau pika population outbreak caused by grassland degradation on the Qinghai?Tibet Plateau. In this study, we investigated the number of burrow entrances, measured serum total IgG levels, intestinal parasitic infection, and liver and kidney indices of adult plateau pikas inhabiting lightly, moderately, and heavily degraded grassland (LD, MD and HD) at Qinghai Haibei National Field Research Station of Alpine Grassland Ecosystem. Our results showed that with grassland degradation, the number of burrow entrances and serum total IgG levels increased significantly, while the prevalence and intensity of infection of cestodes and nematodes as well as liver and kidney indices decreased markedly. The prevalence of infection of cestodes and liver index in males were significantly lower than those in females, and the prevalence and intensity of infection of cestodes and nematodes in females in HD were significantly lower than those in LD. These results indicate that grassland degradation induced by overgrazing enhances the innate immune of plateau pika and alleviate the damage of toxins to liver and kidney, which may promote population outbreaks.

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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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    Association between personality and SERT gene polymorphisms in plateau pikas ( Ochotona curzoniae) at different altitudes
    Hongjuan ZHU, Jing LI, Suqin WANG, Qi TANG, Xianyong LAN, Jiapeng QU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (5): 540-552.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150702
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    Given the stable and heritable individual differences in animal behaviors, personality is associated with the polymorphisms of related genes and reflects the adaptation patterns of animals to variable environments. Exploring the variations in personality-related genes will contribute to the improved understanding of the evolutionary and adaptation mechanisms of animals’ response to environments. In this study, we used plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) inhabiting five altitudinal regions of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau as study objects to determine their personality variations, explore the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of serotonin transporter (SERT) and personality, and obtain the expression level of the SERT gene. Results showed that the exploration and boldness of pikas at high altitudes were significantly higher than those at low altitudes, whereas the expression level of SERT at high altitudes was significantly lower than that at low altitudes, suggesting that the personality of pikas in different altitudes might be correlated with the mRNA expression of the SERT gene. Furthermore, SERT gene polymorphisms and their distribution differences among different altitudes were detected. Six SNP mutations were detected in the SERT gene (5 and 1 SNP mutations were located in exons 3 and 5, respectively). Significant correlations between c.A1063C synonymous mutation in exon 5 and altitudes were observed, suggesting that the distribution frequencies of the CC genotype of c.A1063C at high altitudes were significantly higher than those at low altitudes. No significant correlation between c.A1063C genotypes and exploration or boldness was observed, whereas significant correlations between c.A1063C genotypes and docility were detected. Our results suggested that with increasing altitude, the exploration and boldness of plateau pikas increased for food resource and survival opportunities to adapt to environments at different altitudes and that the difference in docility might be related to the synonymous mutation of exon 5 of the SERT gene c.A1063C. This study attempted to elaborate on the differences in personality of plateau pikas adapted to different altitudes from the perspective of gene expression and mutation, providing the potential molecular mechanism of plateau pika’s behavioral strategies at different altitudes.

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    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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    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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    An overview of population survey methods of non-human primates
    Xier CHEN, Lijie YIN, Dagong QIN, Jinxian YAO, Xiaoyu LI, Wenshi PAN
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (6): 716-727.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150656
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    Monitoring and estimating wildlife population size is essential to conservation. Affected by global climate change and human activities, wildlife populations could be relatively unstable. Primates are a group of highly evolved taxa in the animal kingdom and are among the most social of animals. As many as 701 species or subspecies of primates are recognized globally, forming a rich diversity. They could be found in various types of habitats, including rain forests, swamp forests, mangroves, secondary forests, deciduous forests, monsoon forests and montane forests, as well as in grasslands (savannah and steppe) including forest outliers, gallery forests, wooded steppes, thorn forests, Mediterranean scrubs and montane meadows, and even in deserts, dry uplands or permanent snow. Most primate species are endangered from different causes, and therefore effective long-term monitoring is of significant value to primate conservation. Species and habitat diversity have contributed to the numerous methods of censusing primate populations. This article offers a summary of widely-used non-human primate population censusing methods, including the classifications, the fundamentals, the various scenarios for application, and their limitations. The methods are analyzed with case studies and research. Furthermore, we introduce the latest applications of drones, thermal imaging and computer deep learning in primate population surveys, hoping to offer some insights into future non-human primate censusing and population monitoring.

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    Diet conversions of pre-released giant panda ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca) cubs
    Shiqiang ZHOU, Shengshan HE, Yuanyuan QU, Yong LUO, Daifu WU, Yan HUANG, Desheng LI, Hemin ZHANG
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (6): 652-664.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150655
    Abstract1029)   HTML18)    PDF (3446KB)(939)       Save

    This paper takes 15 giant panda cubs undergoing pre-release training, including female animals with cubs, monitored from 2010 to 2020 as the research object. Based on the behavior data observed and interpreted by infrared video monitoring system and audio collar, and the fecal sample data collected by GPS collar tracking and positioning, this paper analyzes the behavior development process and food conversion characteristics of giant pandas undergoing pre-release training. The results show that with the growth and development of giant pandas undergoing pre-release training, the behaviors related to foraging and vigilance are fully developed, and have a strong temporal correlation,including feeding, crawling, walking, playing with objects, climbing trees, biting and playing with bamboo, drinking water and eating bamboo. Generally, at the age of 8 ? 10 months, giant panda cubs begin to eat bamboo organs, and the process of developmental dietary transition is clearly divided into three stages: ready?to?eat milk period (1 ? 7 months old), breast milk bamboo conversion period (8 ? 28 months old) and bamboo eating period (29 ? 39 months old). The conversion period can be divided into critical period (8 ? 18 months old) and transition period (19 ? 28 months old). According to the statistical test, there are significant differences between different feeding stages, and the giant panda in the transition period can leave the mother animal and live independently in the study area. The proportions of food components in the transition period are not significantly different from that in the bamboo feeding stage. The seasonal dietary shift pattern of the wild training giant panda is similar to the mother animal with offspring and the wild giant panda in that is the main food is bamboo shoots in spring, young bamboo stems and leaves in summer and autumn, and bamboo leaves and stems in winter. The results of this study not only verify the scientific basis and feasibility of the pre-release training method of female animals with cubs, but also provide a reference for the pre-release training and reintroduction of captive giant pandas in the future.

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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
    Abstract1004)   HTML39)    PDF (12877KB)(729)       Save

    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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    Temporal and spatial niche differentiation of sympatric black muntjac and Reeves’ muntjac
    Juan HU, Peigen XIE, Tingting LI, Rui GUO, Lijuan XU, Xiao SONG, Aichun XU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (6): 641-651.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150638
    Abstract976)   HTML33)    PDF (4862KB)(1149)       Save

    Niche differentiation is an important ecological theory in explaining the coexistence of species. Schonenr believes that the spatial dimension has the highest influence on the formation of niche differences, followed by the nutritional dimension, and the time dimension is the last to be activated. To verify this hypothesis, we used the kilometer grid method to place 52 infrared cameras in the Longtangshan area of the Qingliangfeng National Nature Reserve in Zhejiang from December 2018 to November 2019. We monitored the populations of sympatric black muntjac and Reeves’ muntjac that have similar feeding habits. The average capture rate was calculated to analyze the differences in the species’ selection of vegetation type, altitude, slope position, and distance from water sources in different seasons. The nuclear density estimation method was used to analyze the daily activity rhythm and the degree of overlap in the activities of the two species. The results indicate that black muntjac and Reeves’ muntjac have different choices in spatial niche: black muntjac prefers mixed broadleaf-conifer forest, primarily inhabiting areas with high altitude between 1 301 - 1 500 m and avoiding areas with low altitudes and valleys. Activities of the black muntjac are frequent in areas closer to water sources. The Reeves’ muntjac prefers deciduous broadleaved forests, mainly inhabits areas with an elevation of 901 - 1 100 m, prefers mid-slope positions, avoids valleys, and has no obvious tendency towards choosing water sources. The black muntjac and the Reeves’ muntjac are both diurnal animals with morning and twilight activities, and the overlap of their daily activity rhythms throughout the year is relatively high (Δ4 = 0.86), and only lower in winter (Δ1 = 0.65). The above results support the hypothesis of Schonenr. First, spatial dimension has a greater impact on species niche differentiation than the temporal dimension. The black muntjac and Reeves’ muntjac in the Longtang Mountain area mainly choose different habitats to avoid overlapping territories and reduce the competition between both species. Secondly, there are seasonal differences in this model. In winter, due to the reduction of available resources, competition intensifies. Both species adjust their rhythm of daily activities to increase the degree of temporal niche differentiation in order to achieve coexistence in the same region.

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    Characteristics of food plants consumed by Hainan gibbon ( Nomascus hainanus) in fragmented habitat
    Huaiqing DENG, Baoping REN, Yun LIU, Jiang ZHOU
    ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA    2022, 42 (6): 615-623.   DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150658
    Abstract973)   HTML27)    PDF (3372KB)(1017)       Save

    Quantity, availability, and diameter structure of feeding plant species of Hainan gibbons (Nomascus hainanus) were investigated in Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park of Bawangling Bureau from January 2013 to July 2014. Sixty-four food species with 1 484 plant samples of tree diameter at breast height ≥ 5 cm were recorded in the habitat of Group C of Hainan gibbon. The gibbons highly preferred large and tall trees to feed on. Fifteen tagged plant species have a fructiferous rate of more than 50.0%. The maximum is 76.7% by Monoon laui and the minimum is 9.6% by Heptapleurum heptaphyllum. Among 18 main food plants, 15 species showed a growing structure and only Pouteria annamensis showed the recession structure. Food plants consisted of young individuals and only 37 species (71.2%) can fruit every year for the gibbons. Fruit rate of feeding tree species was not affected by altitude and was significantly associated with tree height and diameter at breast height. Hainan gibbons ate tender leaves (15.6%) when fruits were scarce in the dry season. High fluctuations in fruit availability yearly might limit the population growth of Hainan gibbons in a long run.

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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
    Abstract961)   HTML43)    PDF (30066KB)(821)       Save

    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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    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
    Abstract928)   HTML2)    PDF (5421KB)(905)       Save

    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
    Abstract928)   HTML46)    PDF (1940KB)(811)       Save

    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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