Table of Content

    30 September 2018, Volume 38 Issue 5
    Quantification of giant pandas’ visual acuity
    LIN Xiaona, CHU Xiaojing, ZHAO Rui, ZHANG Bowen, LUO Bo, ZHANG Guiquan, LIU Dingzhen
    2018, 38(5):  433-441.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150179
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    A wealth of literature shows that the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has well-developed olfactory and auditory systems but poor eyesight. Although there are some studies of the visual ability and colour vision in the giant panda, little is known specifically about its eyesight. To quantify the giant panda’s visual acuity, we observed and recorded the behavioural responses of 8 captive giant pandas (M: F=4:4) to moving pieces of paper with horizontal black and white stripes of various width. We found that giant pandas are able to distinguish white stripes from black stripes at a distance of 50 cm when both were approximately 0.46 mm wide. This result provides additional behavioural support for anatomical studies of the retinal structure of the giant panda and will aid further studies of communication and cognition in this treasured animal species.
    Correlations of male personality features with temporary consortship in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana)
    WU Yibing, ZHANG Qixin, WANG Xi, LI Bowen, LI Jinhua
    2018, 38(5):  442-450.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150201
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    In polygynandrous nonhuman primates, an adult male and an oestrous female often form a temporary sexual relationship. However, few studies have focused on how consortships affect polygynandrous males’ mating behavior and reproductive success. In this study, we collected data on male-female social interactions, consort partners, and consortship durations in a group (YA1) of free-ranging Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan, China using all occurrences and focal animal and behavioral sampling methods. We used our observations to discuss males’ characteristics and their relationships to consortships. During the study period, male ranks within the group changed. Both before and after the male rank change, we found a positive correlation between a male’s rank and his number of consort partners (before rank change P = 0.010, after rank change P = 0.032) and the duration of his consortships (before rank change P = 0.014; after rank change P = 0.035). We found no significant correlation between a male’s age and the number of his consortship partners (P = 0.150) or the duration of his consorts (P = 0.511), but the length of his tenure in the group was positively correlated to both his number of his consort partners (P = 0.034) and the duration of his consortships (P = 0.023). Both before and after the change of male rank, a male’s social interactions positively correlated to his number of consort partners (before rank change P = 0.013; after rank change P < 0.001) and with duration of his consortships (before rank change P = 0.001; after rank change P = 0.003). Our data indicate that male rank, length of tenure in the group, and social interactions with females all influence males’ consortship formations. Our study provides new scientific evidence for understanding male reproductive strategies and consortship behaviors.
    Correlations among dominance rank, testosterone levels and intestinal parasitic infection in adult male Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana)
    WU Wei, SUN Binghua, WANG Xi, LI Wenbo, LI Bowen, LI Jinhua
    2018, 38(5):  451-457.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150197
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    In nonhuman primates, testosterone influences both males’ dominance and their intestinal parasites. We studied eight adult males’ dominance ranks, testosterone levels, and intestinal parasite loads in one group of Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan, Anhui Province to explore potential correlations among dominance rank, testosterone, and health. Our results included 10 species of intestinal parasites: 4 helminths, 5 protozoans, and 1 mite. Testosterone levels (1.00 ± 0.42 ng/g) and intestinal parasite loads (112.44 ± 83.62 EPG) were both significantly different among males (Kruskal-Wallis H, P<0.05). Testosterone levels positively correlated with dominance rank (Spearman, N=8, ρ= 0.326, P<0.05), while protozoan loads negatively correlated with dominance rank (Spearman, N=8, ρ= - 0.345, P<0.05). We found no correlation between helminth loads and dominance rank (Spearman, N=8, ρ= 0.065, P>0.05). Testosterone levels negatively correlated with protozoan loads (Spearman, N=8, ρ= -0.546, P<0.05), but we found no correlation between testosterone levels and helminth loads (Spearman, N=8, ρ= -0.013, P>0.05). The dominant males in our study had higher testosterone levels, it suggests that testosterone has a stimulating effect on the maintenance of rank and that it inhibits protozoan infection.
    Genetic structure of the Himalayan marmot(Marmota himalayana)population in eastern Qinghai Province
    YAN Jingyan, LIN Gonghua, CHEN Hongjian, LI Qian, QIN Wen, SU Jianping, ZHANG Tongzuo
    2018, 38(5):  458-466.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150202
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    In this study, 149 Himalayan marmot individuals from 13 populations were sampled from eastern Qinghai and genotyped at 11 microsatellite loci. Then the genetic diversity and genetic structure of these populations were analyzed using different population genetics methods. As the results showed, a total of 97 alleles were detected in all 11 SSR loci. The average observed heterozygosity and expected heterozygosity for each population ranged from 0.58 and 0.60 to 0.82 and 0.79, representing a relatively high level of genetic diversity. The genetic structure analyses demonstrated that the marmot populations in eastern Qinghai exhibited a strong genetic structure, where 13 geographical populations were allocated into 3 genetic clusters. Surprisingly, such three genetic clusters are in perfect accordance with the geographical units divided by the trunk stream of the Huangshui river and the head trunk stream of the Huanghe river. Therefore, we conclude that these two rivers act as natural barriers to the dispersal and gene-flow between the marmot populations in different units. Meanwhile, as suggested by the STRUCTURE analysis, there was still obvious gene-flow between the three genetic clusters, and the AMOVA analysis also showed that the percentage of the variance between genetic clusters was 6.60%, slightly higher than that between different populations within clusters (4.51%) and far lower than that within populations (88.90%), indicating a low degree of differentiation between the genetic clusters. All such results implied that the Himalayan marmots may cross over the rivers by some bridges or in low water periods to disperse and exchange. These results can provide scientific information for the monitoring and management of marmot populations and even plague control in this region.
    The susceptibility of intestinal parasites induced by predation risk to overwintering root voles(Microtus oeconomus)
    ZHU Yahui, SHANG Guozhen, YANG Yanbin, ZHANG Xin, WU Yan, CAO Yifan, BIAN Jianghui
    2018, 38(5):  467-476.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150193
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    In natural ecosystems, different trophic levels can have a profound impact on ecosystem stability and population by trait-mediated indirect effects (TMIEs). However, at present, experimental studies on TMIEs are more common in invertebrates, fish, amphibians and reptiles. In this study, root voles (Microtus oeconomus) were used as experimental animals to establish two treatment populationsin field enclosures :: one in which predation was prevented and one in which predation was allowed to oocurWe then systematically examined thetypes of intestinal parasites, parasitic infection prevalence and intensity of infection by a modified McMaster method.. Phytohemagglutinin (PHA) response and white blood cell count were used to test the individual immunities of the different treatment populations to analyze the infection effect of predation risk on intestinal parasites in root voles. The results showed that the PHA response, leukocyte counts and lymphocyte counts of root voles exposed to predation treatment was significantly decreased compared to voles in which predation was prevented, while infection prevalence and intensity of infection of E. wenrichi were significantly increased. However, there were no significant changes in infection prevalence and intensity of infection of cestodes and nematodes and three other coccidias. It shows that predators can indirectly affect the intestinal parasites of prey by mediating the immune system and validated the hypothesis that the predation risk can increase the intestinal parasitic infection by decrease the immunocompetence of root voles.
    A comparison of reproduction of adult Microtus fortis after existing under different density in different durations of time
    ZHANG Xuan, ZHANG Meiwen, GUO Cong, ZHOU Xunjun, WANG Yong, LI Bo
    2018, 38(5):  477-485.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150181
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    Reproductive capacity of small mammals is affected by many factors, such as climate, habitat and social stress, etc.  Population density is one of the key factors that affect the reproductive capacity of female rodents. However, little has been reported on the effect of breeding under existing different population densities and different durations. Here, we compared the reproduction of adult Microtus fortis at different densities for long or short durations. We selected 144 adult voles, which were randomly divided into 4 groups (sex ratio 1:1): 2 voles per cage and housing for 90 days [group LL (low density, long time)], 8 voles per cage and housing for 90 days [group HL (high density, long time)], 8 voles per cage and housing for 20 days [group HM (high density, middle time)], 8 voles per cage and housing 10 day [group HS (high density, short time)]. Then one male and one female animal from the same group were randomly paired. The litter size, pregnancy rate, pregnancy frequency and farrowing interval were recorded every day until 180d. The experiment data were analyzed in 3 periods: the first stage was 0-90d (the treatments under different densities and different housing time), the next stage was 90-109d, (The transition period),and the last stage  was from 109d on (normal pair breeding period). One-way analysis of variance (One-way ANOVA) was used to analyze the mean litter size, and a Chi square test (χ2) was used to compare the frequency data. Results showed that the mean litter size decreased significantly after a long period of high density treatment. No significant differences have been found among groups in mean pregnant frequency. The pregnancy rates significantly increased from group HL to group HM and then to group LL and HS. In the first stage, breeding was found only in group LL. The pregnancy rates in the transition period were significantly different among the groups, the values of group LL and group HS were significantly higher than group HL. The mean litter size of group HS was the highest, that of group HL was the lowest, and there were no significant differences among groups. The pregnancy rates and mean litter size in the last stage were significantly different among the groups, and the values of group LL and HS were always higher than group HL and HM. No significant differences had been found among groups in the mean pregnant frequency, mean litter size and the farrowing interval. Taken together, there were great differences in density-dependent effect for different durations. For Microtus fortis, reproduction was more inhibited by a 20d-high-density environment than a 10d-high-density environment. After the recovery of low density, the hysteresis effect of population density constraints exists.
    Isolation and purification of IgG subclasses in Bactrian camel serum and preparation of polyclonal antibodies against IgG subclasses
    LI Donghai, ZHANG Wangdong, CHENG Cuicui, JIA Shuai, LI Jianfei, LING Xiaodong, HE Wanhong, GAO Xin, LIU Lei, WANG Wenhui
    2018, 38(5):  486-490.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150139
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    IgG subclasses of Bactrian camel is consist of IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3. Both IgG2 and IgG3 are the heavy chain antibodies (HCAbs), with structures that are obviously different from IgG1’s. To obtain IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 and analyze their antigen specificities, IgG subclasses were isolated and purified from the Bactrian camel serum using Protein A and Protein G affinity chromatography columns, and were identified by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Then polyclonal antibodies to them were prepared respectively and their titers were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Finally, their specificities were evaluated by Western blot, and the antigen-specificity of IgG subclasses of Bactrian camel were further analyzed. The results showed that the IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 of Bactrian Camel are obtained successfully by the Protein A and Protein G affinity chromatography columns, the titers of the polyclonal antibodies of anti-IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 were all over 1:10000, and every polyclonal antibody had obvious cross-reactivity with IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3, but the polyclonal antibody specificity of anti-IgG1 was lower than those of anti-IgG2 and anti-IgG3. The results suggested that the immunogenicity of IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 of Bactrian camel were all good and their specificities were all similar although their structures were obviously different.
    Behavior study of feeding site preference and change in the Cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis)#br#
    Lü Lin, XU Fan, CHEN Jianjun, XIE Liang, XIE Peng
    2018, 38(5):  491-498.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.140098
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    Eight adult Macaca fascicularis subjects (four males and four females) were collected between August 2013 to May 2014 and were divided into four same-sex groups. The intergroup differences of social status were determined via video, and a behavior study of feeding site preference and change was designed. Our results revealed that Macaca fascicularis subjects have significant feeding sit preference (75%), but it can be changed (87.5%). Exploratory behavior is closelyrelated to the change of feeding site preference. Male exploratory behaviors were more frequent than those of females, which may be associated with the closer proximity and relationships between females and males in the macaque colony structure. The exploratory behavior scores of high-status females were higher than those of low-status females. Therefore, gender and social status are important factors which can influence exploratory behavior. This study provided the evidence for pointing cues experiment, and new idea and direction for the research on brain functional asymmetry.
    Differences of body composition and morphology of the gastrointestinal tract in Eothenomys miletus at different areas from the Hengduan Mountains in summer
    ZHANG Haiji, HOU Dongmin, MEI Li, CHEN Lixin, WANG Zhengkun, ZHU Wanlong
    2018, 38(5):  499-503.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150168
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    In order to explore differences of body compositions and digestive tract morphology in Eothenomys miletus from Hengduan Mountains at different areas. Samples wre collected from five sites from the north to the south: Deqin, Shangri-La, Lijiang, Jianchuan and Ailao Mountain. Body mass, wet and dry masses of body components (including heart, lung, liver, spleen and kidney), masses and lengths of stomach, small intestine, large intestine and cecum were measured in the present study. The results showed that body mass was significantly different among the five different areas (F=3.895, P<0.05); from lightest to heaviest:  Deqin, Shangri-La, Lijiang, Jianchuan and Ailao Mountain. There were significant differences in wet mass of liver among different sites (F=3.895, P<0.05), with heaviest coming from the Deqin population, and teh lightest fromthe Ailao Mountain population. Length of stomach showed significant differences among five areas (F=3.04, P<0.05), being significantly larger in Ailao Mountain in E. miletus. All of the above results showed that body mass, wet mass of liver and morphology of the gastrointestinal tract had significant differences that may be related to the gradual transition of environmental factors in Hengduan Mountains. In conclusion, E. miletus in different areas from Hengduan Mountains adapt to differing climate and environment conditions mainly by changing their body mass, organ masses and digestive tract morphology.
    Mammal and bird diversity survey using camera traps in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province
    SHU Zufei, LU Xueli, CHEN Lijun, SONG Xiangjin, HUANG Xiaoqun, JIANG Bingkun, XIAO Ronggao, WANG Xincai, ZHANG Yingming, XIAO Zhishu
    2018, 38(5):  504-512.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150146
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    To investigate the biodiversity and relative abundance of birds and mammals in the Chebaling Nature Reserve, we established 101 camera traps between September 2014 and November 2016. Over 11,399 camera-trap days, we obtained 2,542 photographs of wildlife. Analyzing these pictures, we identified 13 mammal species and 30 bird species, including six Class-II state key protected wild animals: the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor), the Chinese serow (Capricornis milneedwardsii), the silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), the fairy pitta (Pitta nympha), the greater coucal (Centropus sinensis), and the besra (Accipiter virgatus). Additionally, we recorded several species that were previously not observed in the nature reserve: the red-hipped squirrel (Dremomys pyrrhomerus), the Edwards's long-tailed giant rat (Leopoldamys edwardsi), the fairy pitta, the orange-headed thrush (Zoothera citrina), and the white-crowned forktail (Enicurus leschenaultia). Based on a relative abundance index, red-hipped squirrels, Indian muntjacs (Muntiacus vaginalis), and wild boars (Sus scrofa) were the most abundant mammals, and silver pheasants and greater necklaced laughing thrushes (Garrulax pectoralis) represented the most abundant birds in Chebaling. Furthermore, the diversity of birds and mammals was not equally distributed along the elevation gradient, and the highest species richness was detected at elevations between 450m and 600 m. Compared with data from camera traps recorded in three other nature reserves across the Nanling Mountains, we recorded the highest number of bird species in the Chebaling Nature Reserve, but more mammal species were recorded in another area, the Nanling Nature Reserve. Our observations are important to update the bird and mammal species list and to provide the basis for future long-term wildlife monitoring in the nature reserves along Nanling Mountains.
    Application of infrared cameras for wildlife surveys in the Bulong Nature Reserve, Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province
    WANG Qiaoyan, HE Youcai, ZHANG Mingxia, SONG Junping, TAO Yongxiang, ZHANG Zhongyuan, YAN Zhangjian, YANG Hongpei
    2018, 38(5):  513-518.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150143
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    Biodiversity inventorying is fundamental for the monitoring of wildlife in nature reserves, as well as for the formulation of conservation strategies, research, and environmental education. Bulong Nature Reserve is a new prefectural protected area established in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan in 2008. Using the kilometre-grid sampling method, from March 2014 to March 2015, we set up several infrared cameras in 137 locations in the Bulong Nature Reserve. During the monitoring period of 10675 days, 19757 shots were triggered with 984 valid photos (70.8% with mammals, 27.6% with birds, and 1.6% of human activities). We identified 17 mammal species belonging to 5 orders and 10 families and 14 bird species belonging to 4 orders and 9 families, including 3 species under Class I priority and 10 species under Class II priority of national protection. Amongst the identified species, 2 are classified as Endangered (EN), 4 as Vulnerable (VU), and one species as Near-Threatened (NT) by IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In this survey, the most frequently recorded mammal species belonged to Carnivora (four species) and Artiodactyla (five species). Wild boars (Sus scrofa) and barking deers (Muntiacus muntjak) were found at the highest relative abundance .The most frequently recorded bird species belonged to the Galliformes (four species). The silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera) and the red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) had the highest relative abundance. This study provides the first record of large and mid-sized mammals and terrestrial birds for future    biodiversity research, monitoring, and management in the Bulong Nature Reserve.
    A preliminary study of wolverine in Altay, Xinjiang
    LIU Xu, MA Ming, XU Fujun, XIONG Jiawu, Zhu Shibing, CUI Shaopeng, JIANG Zhigang, ZHANG Tong, GUO Hong, ERBOLAT Tuoliuhan
    2018, 38(5):  519-524.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150161
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    Wolverine (Gulo gulo) distribution in China is small, being found only in the Great Khingan Mountains, northeast China and the Altay Mountains, northwest China. It had been category Ⅰstate key protected wild animals because of the rarely population. Some studies of wolverines have been done in the Great Khingan Mountains but few in the Altay Mountains. In 2013-2016, we surveyed six chosen ranges to estimate the population size and density of wolverine in the Altay Mountains using a line transect method, a trace method, a questionnaire survey and infrared cameras. As a result, we directly observed and captured wolverines in Kaba, Burjin (Kanas Nature Reserve), Altai (Xiao donggou), Fuyun (Kurmut), Qinghe (Qinggil River). The population size in Altay Mountains was estimated approximately to be 97-166 individuals, from which the density was estimated to be 2.57-4.39 individuals/ 1000 km2. This scarce population may be related to grazing pressure, reduced food resources, habitat loss, or the increasing interference of human activity. As well, the conflict between wolverines and livestock and the border fencecould be another reason.