Table of Content

    13 November 2017, Volume 37 Issue 4
    Habitat analysis and design of potential ecological corridors for Amur Tiger in Northeastern China
    LI Weiping, BAO Heng, ZHANG Minghai
    2017, 37(4):  317-326.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704001
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    Amur tiger(Panthera tigris altaica)is the largest of the five remaining tiger subspeciesAs the flagship species for global biodiversity conservation, it plays an indispensable role in maintaining healthy ecosystem functions. In recent decades, tiger conservation has faced enormous challenges, mainly due to strong human disturbance of their habitats, leading to the further habitat fragmentation, insularization of tiger's main geographic range and disruption of natural ecological corridors. Therefore, identifying the tigers’ core habitats, developing and restoring ecological corridors between key habitats are very important. In this research, by using the expert model combining Amur tiger habitat selection rules and habitat features, we analyzed 7 main parameters, including the vegetation type, distribution of national and provincial natural reserves, terrain and human disturbance factor. We determined the relative importance values for factors by an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), then, by using the weighted linear equation, we identified potentially suitable habitats for Amur tiger, the Amur tiger’s core habitats and the synthetical cost values among the distribution area. Using the corridor design model (Linkage mapper), we proceeded with the design of potential ecological corridors between core habitats. Ultimately, we identified 21 potential ecological corridors, connecting areas of the Amur tiger’s current sporadic distribution in China, especially the migration channels between Zhangguangcailing - Wandashan - Laoyeling, which has practical significance for expanding living space for this species.
    Dynamics of the space use patterns of giant pandas in Wolong Nature Reserve
    BAI Wenke, ZHANG Jindong, DONG Xin, LI Cheng, GU Xiaodong, ZHOU Caiquan
    2017, 37(4):  327-335.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704002
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    In the process of long-term habitat selection, wildlife tend to choose more suitable habitats in order to reduce energy consumption and consume foods with higher nutritive value, resulting in a net energy benefit and increased survival. Previous statistical methods and macro-scale assessments of giant panda habitat have not fully considered the ecological characteristics of wildlife habitat and space utilization. This paper applies a home range model and landscape patterns analysis techniques to quantitatively analyze dynamics of spatial distribution and fragmentation of giant panda habitat in Wolong Nature Reserve. This study advances methods of habitat suitability assessment by evaluating spatial patterns characteristics at multiple probabilities of use, such as 25%, 50%, 75% and 95%. The results indicate that the population tended to concentrate in more suitable habitat, and that the edges of the habitat area are more vulnerable to disturbance by natural disaster and anthropogenic factors, and needs additional protection efforts. On the basis of giant panda behavior traits, we evaluated changes in the spatial patterns of giant panda habitat selection and demonstrated the value of incorporating spatial selection into wildlife habitat suitability evaluation. This study provides the scientific basis for further protection and management of wildlife habitat.
    Using satellite tracking collars to monitor released captive-bred wild Bactrian camels
    XUE Yadong, LI Diqiang, SUN Zhicheng, YUAN Haifeng
    2017, 37(4):  336-343.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704003
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    Satellite tracking collars were used to monitor released captive-bred wild Bactrian camels in the Gansu Dunhuang Xihu National Nature Reserve, and space and habitat use were studied from 2012 to 2014. During the 22-month (ID:108444) and 9-month (ID:108445) monitoring periods, 3403 (ID:108444) and 1573 (ID:108445) GPS positions were obtained, respectively. Minimum Convex Polygon home range analysis showed that the home range of released wild camels covered a small area around the original enclosure at the start of the monitoring period (June-July). By August of the same year, the individual home range had expanded from 9.51 km2 to 19.37 km2 (ID:108444), and from 8.89 km2 to 19.42 km2 (ID:108445), respectively. During the monitoring periods, the individual home ranges covered the entire enclosure, with 95% Kernel home ranges of 7.72km2 (ID:108444) and 3.03 km2 (ID:108445), respectively. The intensive occupancy also indicated the habitat selection of wild camels. The released wild camels showed significant dependence on their original captive environment and proximity to people. And the released wild camels used different habitats in the release environment, especially in summer. Areas with Populus euphratica were preferred by the wild camels. This study provides useful information on the behaviour and adaptation of released captive-bred wild camels, which can be applied to the effective management of the captive-bred wild camel populations. The aim of this study was to improve the rehabilitation of captive-bred wild camels to be released into the wild.
    Effects of spatial and genetic distance on urine marking behavior in Mongolian gerbils at different life-history stages
    DENG Ke, LIU Wei, WANG Dehua, ZHENG Xiuling
    2017, 37(4):  344-353.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704004
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    Scent-marking is widespread among mammals and conveys various information to conspecifics, such as territoriality, social hierarchy and reproductive status. To investigate whether marking behavior is influenced by spatial proximity and kinship in Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), we collected data from a wild free-living population of Mongolian gerbils in Zhenglanqi, Xilingol League, Inner-Mongolia, China. Using the capture-mark-recapture method, we conducted urine-marking behavior tests between gerbils living in different social groups from April to October in 2014. The distance between burrow systems was calculated using the Pythagorean theorem, and pairwise genetic relatedness was estimated using microsatellite DNA markers by ML-RELATE software. Generalized linear mixed effects analysis revealed that neither spatial nor genetic distance had significant effects on the intensity of urine marking in males, and it was same for females during breeding season. However, during the food-hoarding season, the genetic distance significantly affected the intensity of urine marking in females, and there was a significant interaction between spatial and genetic distance. Our results imply that urine-marking behavior of Mongolian gerbils is influenced by kinship and spatial proximity, which may match the breeding or food-hoarding traits in Mongolian gerbils.
    Using two methods to estimate the Chinese muntjac’s (Muntiacus reevesi) population status in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve
    YU Jianping, CHEN Xiaonan, REN Peng, GONG Kun, BAO Yixin
    2017, 37(4):  354-362.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704005
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    The study aimed to analyze the Chinese muntjac’s population resources, and to establish reasonable measures for population protection and management. We investigated the Chinese muntjac population by using traditional belt transect method and Capture-Mark-Recapture method, in Gutianshan Nature Reserve To estimate  population density.  In addition, the sex ratio was assessed by using genetic markers from fecal samples, which were collected during four field surveys in April 2014, July 2014, October 2014 and January 2015. The results from the belt transect method showed that the density in the whole reserve area was about (5.8±0.4)/km2 and the total population number was about 473.5±29.2. In the core area, the density was the highest(7.5±0.7)/km2, and the total number of Chinese muntjac was about 160.8±14.0. The density in the buffer area was about (5.7±0.6)/km2 and the total population was about 98.2±10.4. In the experimental area, the density of the Chinese muntjac was the lowest(3.3±0.5)/km2, and the total population was about 140.5±20.7. With the data from fecal DNA analysis, the density was estimated (4.9±0.3) /km2 across the entire reserve and the total population was 397±26. The transect sampling survey showed that, among the different functional areas, the population density varied with the change of seasons. The core area, the buffer area and experimental area had the highest population densities in spring. In the Nature Reserve Area, Chinese muntjac lived primarily at an altitude between 400 to 800 meters. In the summer, they migrated to the higher elevations, and to lower elevations in the winter. The average sex ratio of the Chinese muntjac in Gutianshan population was about 1.17:1 in different seasons, and the annual sex ratio was about 1.11:1(93♀and 84♂)(x=0.458, P=0.499). Any advantage of more female individuals was not obvious and the protection strategy should be strengthened as much as possible in order to increase the population size.
    Social Social bond strength and its influencing factors in adult female Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana)
    GU Zhiyuan, CHEN Rui, SUN Binghua, WANG Xi, XIA Dongpo, LI Jinhua
    2017, 37(4):  363-370.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704006
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    In many primate species, social bonds between individuals play an important role in their population stability. Strong social relationships can lead to a longer life span and reproductive success for individuals. In this study, we utilized the focal animal sampling method and the behavioral sampling method to collect data on adult female Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) of one wild group (YA1) at Mt. Huangshan National Park, China. The behavioral observation was done throughout mating (September-December, 2015) and non-mating (March-May, 2016) seasons. To investigate the social bond strength between adult females and its influencing factors, we synthesized grooming and proximity behavior to score the social bond strength. We found that the social bond strength between individuals was not significantly influenced by seasons (t = 0.181, P = 0. 857). Kinship was significantly positively correlated to social bond strength (Mating season: r =0.534, P = 0.001; Non-mating season: r =0.469, P = 0.001), whereas rank distance was negatively correlated to social bonds (Mating season: r = -0.288, P= 0.014; Non-mating season: r = -0.238, P = 0.048). Age difference was not significantly correlated to social bonds (Mating season: r = -0.176, P =0.181; Non-mating season: r = -0.192, P = 0.151). Our study confirmed that the social bond strength between adult female Tibetan macaques was stable, and kinship and dominance rank significantly influenced social bond strength.
    Dominance hierarchy for one-male units in a group of provisioned black-and-white monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti)
    XIA Wancai, HU Jie, RRN Baoping, HE Xinming, KUANG Peigang, ZHONG Tai, LI Dayong
    2017, 37(4):  371-378.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704007
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    Dominance hierarchies are the result of long-time evolution for group living primates, and were widely noticed by researchers of animal behavioral ecology. By forming dominance hierarchies between individuals and one male units (OMUs), animal more efficiently use natural resources, avoid excess casualties, protect infants and weak individuals, and adapt to the complex ecological environment. We studied the dominance hierarchy for OMUswithin a group of provisioned Rhinopithecus bieti in Baimaxueshan National Nature Reserve via focus animal sampling from June 2013 to January 2014. We analyzed aggressive-submissive behaviors and feeding superiorities among six OMUs. The results shown that the rank order for each OMU is lineal, which DGZ> DB >HL > LHG >PG > HC (unit name). Males initiated the aggressive behaviors more frequently than did females. The feeding frequency and the order of feeding sequence were significantly associated with the dominance hierarchy among OMUs for the provisioned group. However, there was no significant correlation with each unit’s total feeding time. This study also suggested that OMUs’ dominance hierarchy was related to the number of females in an OMU. The results conform with the aggressive-submissive hypothesis and dominate resources-female higher-hierarchy preferences hypothesis.
    Association of polymorphisms of the OXGR1 with body measurement traits in Tianzhu white yak (Bos grunniens)
    WANG Qi, ZHANG Quanwei, ZHANG Yong, MA Youji, ZHAO Xingxu
    2017, 37(4):  379-388.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704008
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    The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between polymorphism of the Oxoglutarate receptor1 (OXGR1) and body measurement traits in yak (Bos grunniens). A total of 192 blood genomic DNA samples (age 4-8 years, male/castration) were randomly selected to construct the DNA pool. Direct DNA sequencing was used to detect potential polymorphic sites of the OXGR1. The results showed two SNPs (347(A/G) and 678 (G/A)) in Tianzhu White yak OXGR1, each with three kinds of genotype (AA, AG and GG) in high resolution melting curves (HRM), and the superior genotypes were GG and AA, respectively. The result of a χ2- test suggested that two SNPs met Hardy-Weinberg balance (P>0.05) and have strong linkage disequilibrium between two loci (D’ > 0.75, R2 > 0.33) by SHESIS software. There was a moderate diversity located in two SNPs (0.25 < PIC < 0.5). The different genotypes of the two SNPs had significant differences in body length, body height, chest girth and tube girth (P<0.05). The results of bioinformatics analysis revealed that the mutation of the 347 locus was a missense mutation, and the coded amino acid was translated from Asn to Ser, also the mRNA secondary structure, and secondary and tertiary structures of the protein were changed. Above all, the OXGR1 can be used in marker-assisted selection of yak, which could provide the basis for protection and development of yak genetic resources and breeding of new varieties in the future.
    Isolation and identification of intestinal Enterococcus faecalis from golden snub-nosed monkeys in Shennongjia National Natural Reserve
    GUO Huihui, BAI Wenmei, LI Xiang, YANG Jingyuan, YAO Hui, XIAO Yuncai
    2017, 37(4):  389-398.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704009
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    Eight strains with obvious antibacterial effect were isolated from the contents of the intestinal of healthy wild golden snub-nosed monkeys(Rhinopithcus roxellana) in Shennongjia by differential cultivation, morphology observation and antimicrobial tests. They were identificated as Enterococcus faecalis by physiological and biochemical identification, and 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Of which, two good safety strains were screened through the detection of virulence factors and the animal acute toxicity test. Their characteristics of tolerating gastrointestinal environment (low pH, high bile) and growth were examined. The results showed that E. faecalis dlt7a and dlt7b were safe, and probiotic for the body, and they own the features that rapid propagation, a strong ability to withstand the gastric acid and intestinal bile salt. They may be used as candidate probiotics strains for snub-nosed monkeys in the future.
    Advances and prospects of gut microbiome in wild mammals
    DING Yun, WU Qi, HU Yibo, WANG Xiao, NIE Yonggang, WU Xiaoping, WEI Fuwen
    2017, 37(4):  399-406.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704010
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    The symbiotic gut microbes of animals interact with hosts in nutrition metabolism, immunity, diseases and so on. In wildlife, studies on the metagenomics have become a hotspot in conservation biology in recent years. In this paper, we summarize the latest advancements in gut microbes of wild mammals, which focused on diet adaptation, health, coevolution of host and microbiome, and so on. These researches can provide insight into the future studies and a new theoretical basis and means for the maintenance of wild animals’ survival and health.
    Habitat selection of Plateau zokor in northern Qilian Mountain
    TIAN Yongliang, ZHOU Jianwei, YU Yingwen, WANG Qiaoling, SHEN Yanze, HUA Limin
    2017, 37(4):  407-413.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704011
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    Studying the habitat characteristics and habitat selection of the plateau zokor in different grassland types is very important to understand the function and position of the zokor in these grassland ecosystems. We selected the plateau zokor inhabiting in the alpine meadow, alpine shrub meadow and alpine grassland located in northern Qilian Mountain to describe habitatcharacteristics and study its habitat selection by dividing five plots in each grassland according to the zokor’s mounds densities, which can be regarded as relative population density of zokors. We investigated soil compaction, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil pH, as well as plant community structure in each plot of three grassland types. One-Way ANOVAs showed that there were significant differences in vegetation and soil among the three grassland types. Soil compaction, soil temperature, and total plant species number in alpine meadow were the highest (P<0.05), soil moisture and total vegetation coverage in alpine shrub meadow were the highest (P<0.05), soil pH in alpine grassland was the highest (P<0.05). Correlation analysis showed that soil compaction was negatively correlated with the relative population density of the zokor (P<0.05). Stepwise linear regression analysis showed that the plateau zokor preferred habitat with lower compaction, richer forbs in alpine meadow, lower compaction in alpine shrub meadow, and lower compaction, higher soil moisture, richer sedges in alpine grassland. In the three grassland types, we found that the soil compaction was the key factor of habitat selection of the plateau zokor and food resources was the secondary factor.
    New record of sun bear(Helarctos malayanus)in Jilong County, Tibet
    ZHOU zhixin, HUANG zhiwen, HU yiming, LI jingjing, WU jianpu, HU huijian
    2017, 37(4):  414-416.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704012
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    The distribution of sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) is limited in China with very low populations in wild. The distribution of sun bear in Tibet is disputed, with only a single specimen recordfrom 1906. In the Second National Survey of Terrestrial Wildlife Resources, we photographed a sun bear in Jilong county, Tibet. The photo confirmed the existence of sun bears in Tibet, expanding its apparent distribution range, and we propose potential wider distribution region in China.