Table of Content

    30 January 2018, Volume 38 Issue 1
    Behavior coding and ethogram of the sambar (Rusa unicolor) in field environment
    ZHANG Jindong, LI Yujie, HUANG Jinyan, BAI Wenke, ZHOU Shiqiang, LI Yinghong, ZHOU Caiquan
    2018, 38(1):  1-11.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150118
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    Establishing behavioral ethograms is the foundation of animal behavioral studies. We constructed the ethogram of sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) using the PAE (Posture, Act and Environment) code system and datasets from infrared cameras in Wolong Nature Reserve during January 2015 to June 2016. Using data from videos and pictures captured by infrared cameras, we identified and recorded 7 types of postures, 63 acts and 74 behaviors. We also compared frequency of each type of behavior across different sex, age and season; and analyzed the relationship between sambar deer behaviors and environmental characteristics. The ethogram can provide basic information for studying behavioral ecology of sambar deer. It is also important for conservation planning and management of sambar deer. The techniques and methods can be applied to behavioral studies for other animals which are difficult to observe directly in the field.
    Effect of soil pH on geophagy in golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Qinling Mountains
    HE Fengzhi, LI Yanpeng, GAO Ying, HUANG Zhipang, QI Xiaoguang, LI Baoguo
    2018, 38(1):  12-17.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150126
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    Geophagy is widely reported in primates, and several functional hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, including supplementation of minerals, adsorbance of toxic substances, anti-diarrhea effects, protection against parasitic infections in the body, and balancing the acid in the intestines and stomach. In order to improve our knowledge of impact factors and function of geophagy in golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana), we collected diet and geophagy data on golden snub-nosed monkey via a scan-sampling at 5-mins interval, from Sept. 2013 to Jan. 2015 in Qinling Mountains. The site of geophagy, and the sex and age of individuals who were eating clay were recorded.  We also collected samples of clay and control soil.  The pH of the soil simples was measured using potentiometry in Jul, 2016. We found all individuals from different sex-age groups including infants ate soil. We also found that the clay had higher pH than did control soil. Therefore, our result suggested that golden snub-nosed monkeys consumed soil with higher pH, which may serve to balance acids in the intestines and stomach, A high frequency of clay-eating was coincident with high percent of bud and leaf in the diet.
    Individual identification and population size assessment for Asian elephant based on camera-trapping techniques
    YANG Zicheng, CHEN Ying, LI Junsong, WANG Lifan, PIAO You, SONG Zhiyong, SHI Kun
    2018, 38(1):  18-27.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150109
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    We studied and assessed the minimum population number of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Shangyong Sub-Reserve (SYSR), Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China using camera-traps. We set up 27 camera-traps in SYSR from January to April 2016, which ran for a total of 621 camera-trap days and obtained 1944 sample photographs. Within this period individual camera units were active for between 9-52 full days (mean=24). We identified a minimum number of 69 unique individual elephants from photographs (38 adults, 16 sub-adults, 15 calfs) in SYSR. We detected 7 Asian elephants that moved actively across the China-Laos border. The advantages and disadvantages of our camera-trap methodology compared with those of other techniques for individual identification is discussed, and we explore the potential for robust methods for fast, real-time and effective population evaluation in the future. This study strengthened our understanding of Asian elephant status in SYSR and provides scientific evidence to support conservation planning and actions.
    The status and characteristics of, and solutions to, human-Tibetan brown bear conflicts in the Qinghai Province
    HAN Xufang, ZHANG Ji, CAI Ping, ZHANG Yu, WU Guosheng, WANG Enguang, XU Aichun
    2018, 38(1):  28-35.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150106
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    Human-wildlife conflicts can cause great financial losses and casualties to humans, and also are not beneficial for the protection of wild animals. Tibetan brown bears mainly occur in Western China. Their interactions with local inhabitants reflect typical characteristics of conflicts between large carnivores and humans. We analyzed a total of 172 cases of human-Tibetan brown bear conflict in Qinghai province from 2012 to 2015. We also interviewed 86 local herdsmen, aiming to understand the current situation of human-Tibetan brown bear conflict, grasp the traits and rules of conflicts, and discuss the internal reasons of them. Our results showed that (1) within Qinghai province, the conflicts mainly happened in Yushu and Haixi autonomous prefectures, and were more severe in Zhiduo and Qumalai counties of Yushu autonomous prefecture; (2) the conflicts primarily happened during the period of June and September every year, while there were also a few cases during the bear hibernation period between February and November; (3) typical damages by Tibetan brown bears included destroying houses, eating stored crops, and causing personal casualties; (4) the majority of the interviewees considered the conflicts to be serious, and the government should give appropriate compensation (e.g. money); (5) it was widely acknowledged by the interviewees that bear prevention measures were not sufficient to prevent damages. We suggest that the herders could pay more attention to consolidating and patrolling their house during nomadic days. The scattered families are expected to merge together and arrange appropriate food and fodder for winter. The compensation standards of damage caused by wild animals should be carried out actively. Meanwhile, we also call for further research on Tibetan brown bears so as to obtain enough scientific evidence to alleviate the conflicts between humans and Tibetan brown bears.
    Comparison of renal morphology in five rodent species from Inner Mongolia grasslands
    ZHANG Meng, WANG Dehua
    2018, 38(1):  36-45.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150113
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    The ability to maintain water balance is crucial for survival of small rodents that live in arid environments. To understand physiological adaptations of Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), Brandt’s vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii), desert hamster (Phodopus roborovskii), Campbell’s hamster (Phodopus campbelli) and striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis) that live in Inner Mongolia grasslands with different water conditions, we compared their renal morphology, nephron density and urine osmolality. The medulla thicknesses of kidney for the 5 species of rodents change with their distribution area, from typical steppe region, semi-desert to desert regions, and increase with the decrease of water availability. The urine osmolalities are higher for arid rodents. There were no significant differences between the cortical nephron densities for the 5 rodent species and juxtamedullary nephron density showed opposite changes. These results suggest that renal morphology and histology indices can be used to assess mammalian kidney urine concentration ability to a certain extent. Kidney structure is flexible in response to environment variation.
    Dynamic of the burrows distribution during the restoration of Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) population#br#
    ZHANG Rui, XU Hualei, LIU Wei
    2018, 38(1):  46-55.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150104
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    The restoration of burrow systems is one of the key indices of the restoration of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) populations, changes of burrows distribution can reflect population dynamic. We measured the density of plateau pika, the density of burrows and those burrows relative positions in a 2.79 hm2 alpine meadow during 2014-2016 in Qilian country of Qinghai Province, in which six 50m×50m plots with lethal and block control, six 30m×30m plots with lethal control and three 50m×50m plots as control group. The average nearest neighbor and mean crowding index was used to analyze the distribution pattern and clump areas of available burrows, abandoned burrows, fecal pits and sportive pits respectively,and descriptive and correlation analyses were conducted between parameters. The results show that: during the restoration of plateau pika (ⅰ) The distribution pattern of available burrows changed from random to dispersed, abandoned borrows changed from random to clustered, fecal pits and sportive pits displayed no obvious changing trends; the restoration of available and abandoned burrows toward its original distribution patterns before lethal control, but both of them restored inadequately. (ⅱ) The average nearest neighbor index of available burrows was positively correlated with density, abandoned burrows were negatively correlated with density, fecal and sportive pits displayed no obvious correlation with density; and only fecal pits have a significant negative relationship with population density. (ⅲ) The clump area changing trend of available burrows is well consistent with fecal pits and sportive pits, and in compensating situation with abandoned burrows; and the variability of burrows clump area is much less than their density. It declared that: (ⅰ) Hysteresis exists in burrows distribution pattern and burrows density during the restoration of plateau pika. (ⅱ) The distribution pattern of available and abandoned burrows are mostly decided by their density. (ⅲ) Plateau pikas have more urgent demand for burrow system area than burrow numbers during restoration.
    Effects of maternal density stress and coccidiosis infection on immunity in root vole offsprings
    ZHANG Xin, YANG Yanbin, DU Shouyang, CAO Yifan, BIAN Jianghui
    2018, 38(1):  56-65.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150148
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    The immune function of animal is an important factors to influence animal  fitness. As it is a crucial way to defend against bacterial pathogens such as viruses, the immune system play a key role in animal’s survival. Both population density and parasitization are known to deteriorate individuals’ immune function. This experiment using 2×2 factorial experiment design to measure the indexes of four treatments(maternal density stress+coccidian infection, not maternal density stress+not coccidian infection, maternal density stress+not coccidian infection, not maternal density stress+coccidian infection), including the fecal corticosterone metabolite(FCM), coccidian infection rate,blood parameters, lymphocyte subsets counts(CD4, CD8 counts). The results show that the density-induced maternal stress can significantly reduce the number of CD4, rate of CD4/CD8, Lymphocytes, Eosinophils, white cell. The effects were further deteriorated when maternally stressed offspring infected with coccidian. Our results showed that the interaction of density-induced maternal stress and coccidian infection has negatively synergistic effect on the immune of root vole.
    Effects of the chronic cat’s urine odor exposure on fos-expression of Norway rats(Rattus norvegicus
    GU Chen, YIN Baofa, DING Xiaoqian, LU Yi, SHI Yiran, LI Shiping, WEI Wanhong
    2018, 38(1):  66-73.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150121
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    The paper compared the changes of fos-expression between Norway rats(Rattus norregicus)bred in laboratory and Wistar rats after they were exposed to cat urine odor for 0d, 1d, 3d, 6d, 9d and 18d by using immunohistochemistry, and investigated the influence of the living environment on the anti-predator strategy of Norway rats. The average optical densities of fos in Norway rats exposed to cat odor for different numbers of days in four brain regions(AHP, VMHC, MeAD and BLA)were significantly higher than those of the control group and there were no gender difference. Compared with the control group, the average optical density of fos in hypothalamus(AHP, VMHC)and amygdala (BLA) of Wistar rats exposed to cat odor significantly increased at 1d, 3d, 6d and 9d  but not at 18d. The average optical densities of fos in AHP and MeAD were significantly different between males and females, but they were not different in VMHC and BLA for Wistar rats. During exposure to cat odor, the relative change rate of the average optical densities of fos(AHP, VMHC, MeAD, BLA)in Norway rats and Wistar rats also were different. This indicates that the living environment and exposure time can affect the response of Norway rats to predator odor.
    Advances in ecological research regarding rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in China
    LU Jiqi, TIAN Jundong, ZHANG Peng
    2018, 38(1):  74-84.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150128
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    Research on primates in China started in the middle of the 19th century, and thrived from the 1980s to date. As a widely distributed non-human primate species worldwide, rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) was listed Grade 2 within Key Protected Wildlife of China. Researchers have published a cluster of works on macaques, including geographical distribution, population dynamics, food habits, social ecology, conservation ecology etc. In this paper, we reviewed the research advances in rhesus macaques in China. (1) geographical distribution and habitats: rhesus macaques occurred in 17 Provinces in China, and their habitats range from about 250 m a.s.l. to about 4000 m a.s.l. (2) populations and population increase: the current total population of rhesus macaques in China is about 96000 individuals. We have limited knowledge for population parameters of rhesus macaques except the Hainan macaques. (3) food habits: rhesus macaques in China feed on variety of food items which is in line with wide-spread distribution in various habitats; (4) activity rhythms: the published works mainly focused on the rhythm of foraging behavior, and showed that rhesus macaques exhibited two daily activity peaks; (5) reproductive ecology: rhesus macaques showed a seasonal reproduction pattern, and differed significantly in birth period, and lengths of pregnancy and lactation period between northernmost and southernmost populations. (6) social ecology: the society of rhesus macaques comprised multi-male and multi-female, based on matrilineal relationships. There were strict lineal dominance ranks among adult males and adult females, respectively. (7) behavior and behavioral ecology: researchers observed behaviors of rhesus macaques including calling, facial expression, and fighting. Ethnograms based on PAE (posture, action, environment) coding system have been established, which include 14 postures, 93 acts, 22 environments, and 121 behaviors that were categorized into 13 behavioral types. (8) conservation biology: researchers analyzed the population genetic diversity of rhesus macaques in China and some local areas, and provided support for local population protection. (9) sleeping site selection: a few studies examined sleeping site selection of rhesus macaques, and the results indicated that sleeping site selection was influenced by forest density, sheltering classes, slope gradients and climate. We put forward suggestions and implications for related studies in the near future.
    Analysis of the chemical components in the urine of the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) by HS-SPME-GC/MS
    YE Fangyan, ZUO Mulin, ZHU Wanlong, GAO Wenrong, ZHANG Hao, HOU Dongmin, WANG Zhengkun
    2018, 38(1):  85-94.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150077
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    Animal urine plays a very important role in animal life. The detection of chemical compounds in Tupaia belangeri urine is the key to identify its composition and assay the function of each chemical compound. In the present study, headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used to analyze the urine compositions in Tupaia belangeri. Through searching the mass spectrometry library of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), we found that the chemical compounds belong mainly to aldehydes, ketones, acids, esters, aromatic hydrocarbons, hydrocarbons, and phenols, etc. The results showed that HS-SPME-GC/MS is an effective method to detect volatile and semi-volatile compounds in tree shrew urine. In addition, wild individuals with relatively abundant food sources have more components than do those fed on an artificial diet., There are sex differences in the chemical compositions of urine. The results provide a foundation for studying the mechanism of chemical communication in tree shrews.
    Camera-trapping survey of the diversity of mammals and birds in Fengyang Mountain of Zhejiang Province, China
    LI Jia, LIU Fang, YE Lixin, LIU Shenglong, PEN Hui, LI Diqiang
    2018, 38(1):  95-103.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150102
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    From November 2008 to November 2009 and August 2010 to August 2016, camera traps were installed to investigate the diversity of mammals and birds in Fengyang Mountain of Fengyang Mountain-Baishanzu National Nature Reserve, Zhejiang Province, China. In this study, with an intensive survey effort of 28 256 camera days at 98 locations (45 grids), we collected 8 208 independent photographs and identified 18 wild mammal species belonging to 12 families and 5 orders, 38 wild bird species belonging to 16 families and 7 orders, and 5 domestic animal species. The five most detected species were Muntiacus reevesi (CR=11.15), Lophura nycthemera (CR=2.63), M.crinifrons (CR=1.03), Sus scrofa (CR=0.96) and Macaca mulatta (CR=0.59). Among the detected species, 2 are listed as Class I state key protected wild animals in China and 6 as class II. Two species were evaluated as Endangered by the Red List of China’s Vertebrates, 4 as Vulnerable and 9 as Near Threatened. Fifteen species such as Tamiops maritimus, Arborophila gingica and Scolopax rusticola, were the first to be recorded in the Fengyang Mountain, and Macropygia unchall was the first recorded in Zhejiang Province. We also found evidence of intensive human activities in the reserve, which may have potential impacts on wildlife. Our results provided a comprehensive baseline of the wildlife resources in the Fengyang Mountain for biodiversity management and long-term monitoring of the reserve.
    Preliminary survey using infrared camera reveals fauna and avifauna diversity at Hupingshan National Nature Reserve, Hunan, China
    YU Guiqing, KANG Zujie, LIU Meisi, CHEN Zhenfa, DENG Zhongci
    2018, 38(1):  104-112.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150137
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    From August 2012 to August 2015, 20 infrared camera-traps were installed in a monitoring grid to investigate terrestrial fauna and avifauna population in the Hupingshan National Nature Reserve of Hunan Province, China. Based on 19,592 camera-days in the field, we identified 21 mammal species belonging to 4 orders and 11 families and 33 bird species belonging to 4 orders and 8 families. Among these, forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) was listed as Category I state key protected wild animals and eight species as Category II. Red-hipped squirrel (Dremomys pyrrhomerus) was recorded for the first time in the reserve. Carnivora had the highest species richness among mammals (9 species), followed by Cetartiodactyla (6 species) and Rodentia (5 species). Tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), red-hipped squirrel, Reeve’s muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) and Hog badger (Arctonyx collaris) ranked as the five most abundant mammal species according to a relative abundance index. Passeriformes had the highest species richness in bird (25 species), followed by Galliformes (5 species) and Piciformes (2 species). Golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus), Temminck's tragopan (Tragopan temminckii) and spotted laughingthrush (Garrulax ocellatus) rank as the three most abundant bird species. In addition, we also analyzed daily and annual activity patterns of the six common species such as golden pheasant, Temminck's tragopan, red-hipped squirrel, tufted deer, wild boar and Reeve’s muntjac.  Our results provide basic information for long-term monitoring of the diversity and density of terrestrial fauna and avifauna inhabiting the Hupingshan region.
    Partial albino rat of Rattus losea found in Guangdong Province
    CHEN Yi, SU Qianqian, LIU Quansheng
    2018, 38(1):  113-116.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150185
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    In May 2016, two rat species Rattus losea (1 male, 1 female) with partial albinism were captured on a farmland in Feng Village, Zengcheng City, Guangdong Province. The two albinism positions are back and head. Their physical characteristics are described. Furthermore, the possible causes and the effects on organisms of partial albinism are discussed.